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THE WIND WILL CARRY US
1999 - Abbas Kiarostami
Iran / France
56
Opening Shot

The film opens with a trademark Abbas Kiarostami lengthy master shot of a car driving through the mountain hills of Kurdistan as we hear conversations between its passengers. The image cuts several times following the car from a distance as we continually hear the men in the car arguing about directions. Finally we cut to inside the car but from the perspective of a passenger talking to a woman standing outside the car (this is another definitive Kiarostami trademark).

The Film

The Wind Will Carry Us is a film full of symbolism and philosophy. However, you don't have to be attached to symbolism and philosophy to admire what you're seeing. It's a beautiful film, and it's carried by it's poetic mysteries, telling the story of a filmmaker and his crew who travel to a mountain village to record a special ritual. Master Iran filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami quickly pulls you under a spell, while detailing life, culture, and modern society as never seen before. The Wind Will Carry Us is a quiet and touching reminder of the short-lived beauty and endless wonder of the human existence. The filmmaking approach is so simplistic, yet poetically beautiful, deeply moving, and ultimately an unforgettable experience that connects to the furthest point of the viewers imagination and soul. There is certainly a minimalist approach that bares resemblence to teh great Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu in the way Kiarostami composes and designs his shots, notably in the way he resuses several key master shots of a particlcular location. I truly love this masterpiece, and easily consider it among my all-time favorite films. This is artistic cinema at it's finest!

The Filmmaker

Abbas Kiarostami is at the forefront of Iranian cinema and is often considered among the world's leading filmmakers today. In the tradition of Satyajit Ray or Robert Bresson or Yasujiro Ozu, Kiarostami is a minimalist. Using the simplest of technique and methods Kiarostami is able to capture the poetic and philosophical depths of his films and of filmmaking as a whole. In every possible way, he is an artist that is always looking to explore the boundaries of cinema as an art form. After making groundbreaking and educational films during the 1970s that stand among the most important in all of Iranian cinema, Kiarostami reached global attention during the 1980s and 90s. His films gave Western audiences a different perspective of Iran culture that they either didn't see or did not know of: one that was beautiful, compassionate, humane, and artistic. Kiarostami reached new heights with his 1997 film Taste of Cherry, which won the Golden Palm at Cannes and moved Iran into the forefront of world cinema. The success of the film has brought international attention to his previous work and Kiarostami is often considered among the greatest master filmmakers living today. One of the greatest aspects of Kiarostami's mastery is his ability to break conventions of filmmaking and to explore both the role of the director and the audience. His films are poetic and without plot, but to claim them pretentious is to completely misinterpret his vision, which is to reflect and capture imagination. Kiarostami's moments of 'nothingness' (such as driving up hills, milking cows, or simply seconds of black screen) are left for the viewer to challenge themselves and use their imagination to reflect what is hidden. Kiarostami also likes to challenge the role of art and the director through his films. In his brilliantly moving and highly simplistic 1990 masterpiece Close-Up, Kiarostami blends fiction, documentary, and even a form of mockumentary filmmaking together to explore the very importance or meaning of art and the viewer. In the 2002 film Ten, Kiarostami places a camera inside the car and records his "actors" in a way that seems to be exploring the very nature of directing and acting. What often results through his vision is equally profound and poetic. Those willing to challenge themselves and challenge their own imagination can easily discover the depths of Kiarostami's vision as a filmmaker. He is one of the art forms greatest visionaries and experimentalists whose passion for challenging the boundaries of cinema is equaled only by his compassion of the human spirit. His work is equally poetic, beautiful, and unforgettable.

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