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Av Festival 12: Five + Discussion

Dir. Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian, 2003, Iran, Dir. Kiarostami

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Wed 7 March 2012 // 19:30 / Cinema

ABOUT THE FILM: FIVE (2003)

FIVE LONG TAKES

This radically minimalist film features five extended, seemingly single-take sequences, shot on hand-held DV camera along the shores of the Caspian Sea: a piece of driftwood is broken; people stroll along the promenade; a group of dogs gather; duck’s nosily waddle by; and the full moon is reflected.

In homage to Yasujiro Ozu (Japanese film director, 1903-1963), Five is calm, meditative and funny in equal measure.

NOT A DOCUMENTARY

"Despite appearance, the episodes of FIVE are not documentary records. In reality Kiarostami actively influenced what might happen in front of his camera in various ways (tempting dogs and ducks with food, for example), and constructed the final segment from some 20 takes filmed over several months; the soundtrack was also 'composed', almost like a symphony of natural noise, during a four-month mixing process." as explained here

DIGITAL FILMING

"It would have been impossible to create Five without a digital camera. Five was shot with one camera in moonlight with no other equipment." - KIAROSTAMI

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: ABBAS KIAROSTAMI (Iran, born 1940)

"His recognizable, personal style of filmmaking is permeated by a forward-thinking, innovative spirit that has placed his work at the vanguard of filmmaking—all the while carving a place for Iranian cinema in modern film history." - NEW YORK MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

Abbas Kiarostami is probably the most famous Iranian director around at the moment - and rightly so: his films are completely amazing (this is our own hunmble opinion!). His films have gained incredible praise from film critics the world over, and have been shown in the most prestigious film festivals.

We would strongly recommend that you watch any of his films!

A few facts:

- He was born in 1940 in Tehran

- His first artistic experience was painting

- He is one of the few directors who remained in Iran after the 1979 revolution, but it was important to him to keep shooting in his country

- Some of his most famous films are "Taste of Cherry" (1997), "The Wind will Carry Us" (1999) and "Ten" (2002)

- He has won some of the most sought-after international film prizes: the Golden Palm from the Cannes Film Festival for "Taste of Cherry" (1997), Jury Special Prize from the Venice Film Festival for "The Wind will Carry Us" (1999), Best Film Award of Un Certain Regard for "Life and Nothing More… " (1992) at the 45th Cannes International Film Festival, and many more!

WHAT ABBAS KIAROSTAMI SAYS ABOUT HIS WORK

MINIMALISM

"My films have been progressing towards a certain kind of minimalism, even though it was never intended. This was pointed out to me by somebody who referred to the paintings of Rembrandt and his use of light: some elements are highlighted while others are obscured or even pushed back into the dark. And it's something that we do - we bring out elements that we want to emphasise. I'm not claiming or denying that I have done such a thing but I do believe in [Robert] Bresson's method of creation through omission, not through addition." - in THE GUARDIAN

ABOUT GOOD CINEMA AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

"Good cinema is what we can believe and bad cinema is what we can't believe. What you see and believe in is very much what I'm interested in. And it's not so much a question of whether we've shot it through 35mm or digital video; what is important is whether the audience accepts it as real. It's very true that non-actors feel more comfortable in front of a digital camera, without the lights and the large crowd around them, and we arrive at much more intimate moments with them." in THE GUARDIAN

NEVER INTENDED TO BE A FILMMKER

"Nothing of what I've done started from an intention as such. I never intended to write poems, nor to be a photographer, nor to be a film-maker. I just took many, many pictures and I would put them in an album, and then some years later I decided to show them and suddenly I was called a photographer. Same thing with my poetry. They're notes that I'd written in a book and it may be considered poetry. And I would remind you that if you visit the V&A, you can see my photography there." in THE GUARDIAN

ABOUT MAKING FILMS IN IRAN

"If I do continue to have the opportunity to work in Iran, that's very much what I'd prefer to do. And having an international voice is not really about whether we speak Persian or any other language. I think, just as footballers play better at home, maybe film-makers, too, create better at home, even though the rules of football are the same wherever you go." in THE GUARDIAN

ABOUT WHAT THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT THINKS ABOUT HIS FILMS

"The Iranian government as a whole has no relationship with my films. They're not particularly interested, perhaps this kind of cinema is not very interesting to them. And I'm not sure that my films show the reality of life in Iran; we show different aspects of life. Iran is a very extensive and expansive place, and sometimes, even for us who live there, some of the realities are very hard to comprehend. But on the whole, the government grapples with more important issues and we can maybe say that these films don't really exist for them. It's not about whether they like it or don't; it's just not very important to them." in THE GUARDIAN

+ DISCUSSION 

The film will be followed by a discussion between the audience and film lecturer and filmmaker Mark Chapman, and film critic Michael Pattison.

+ CINEMA OPEN AT 6.30PM + PIZZA!

The cinema will be open from 6.30pm, and we will be serving pizza, so come and have a drink and a pizza with us before the screening!

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Part of AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: www.avfestival.co.uk 

PRICE: £5/£3.50 (conc)

AV Festival Film Loyalty Card - Collect 4 stamps and the 5th film is FREE

WHOLE PROGRAMME OF THE AV AT THE STAR AND SHADOW HERE http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/on/season/111

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