Arts & Entertainment

The Long & Winding Road: Abbas Kiarostami Retrospective

The Sydney Film Festival (SFF) and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present a program of eight essential features and three short films from trailblazing Iranian filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami.

Audiences can view the full retrospective as part of the 68th Sydney Film Festival and a selection at ACMI in September.

Abbas Kiarostami films serve as a film buff’s introduction to the vivid world of Iranian cinema. Director of Film Programs at ACMI, Kristy Matheson says the retrospective is an exciting part of this year’s festival.

“We’re really tuning in to big emotions and spectacle and seeing something we’ve never seen before, and I think that [Kiarostami] was quite interested in how audiences would receive the film so I think they’re actually films that people can actively watch.”

The late director is renowned for his deeply humanistic filmmaking style. His films are marked by their tenderness, often taking place in the most thoughtful spaces.

“They’re really films about conversations. They’re characterised by all these kinds of lovely, tiny conversations that people have with each other and out of those, the characters develop,” Kristy says.

Kiarostami’s diverse body of work encourages audiences to think deeper about the world around them.

“They’re films you can see more than once and you might have a different take on it. I think they are exciting to watch because you’re not given everything. You sort of have to bring a bit of your own thoughts to it.”

By Tessa Pelle

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