Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival, NFSA & Melbourne Cinémathèque
Kiarostami: Short Films
A rare chance to see Kiarostami's short films in stunning restorations on the big screen.
[These] are experimental films in the best sense, without pretension.
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Unclassified (All Ages)
Bread and Alley
Nan va Koutcheh
"The mother of all my films," according to Abbas Kiarostami, begins as a breezily observed anecdote about a boy weaving through Tehran alleys with a loaf of bread. When he encounters a barking dog, the boy must find a way to continue his journey home safely in a poetic work that ultimately illuminates our individual experiences.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1970 | Iran | 10 mins
Disciplined at school for breaking a window, a boy joins throngs of his schoolmates as they make a cacophonous exit into Tehran’s streets. This moody short shows Kiarostami expanding his visual vocabulary as the camera follows the young boy wreaking havoc at school and on the streets.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1972 | Iran | 11 mins
So Can I
Man ham mitounam
Kiarostami’s collaboration with animator Nafiseh Riah was his first film made for children, rather than about them. This playful short features the filmmakers’ real-life sons as two schoolboys watching animated views of animals’ actions — kangaroos jumping, fish swimming, etc. – and imitating them to a sprightly soundtrack.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1975 | Iran | 4 mins
Two Solutions For One Problem
Dow Rahehal Baraye yek Massaleh
In this moral tale, seen by some as a precursor to Where is the friend’s house?, a young boy ponders whether to seek revenge on his classmate, or work together to find a solution. The film is shot mostly in close-ups, with a narrator drolly chronicling the action.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1975 | Iran | 5 mins
Tribute to the Teachers
Kiarostami’s homage to teachers, an assignment from the Ministry of Education, balances contrasting views from starry-eyed officials and over-worked frontline teachers.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1977 | Iran | 20 mins
Rah Hal-e Yek
Against a backdrop of sublime scenery, a stranded motorist triumphantly rolls his mended tyre down a mountain with Kiarostami playfully scoring the action with music reminiscent of a western. This short was a departure for Kiarostami’s work with The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children & Young (Kanoon) – it was filmed outside Tehran during the Revolution and features no children.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1978 | Iran | 11 mins
Orderly or Disorderly
Be Tartib ya Bedoun-e Tartib
The "most exemplary of Kiarostami’s shorts" (MUBI), Orderly or Disorderly begins with the snap of a clapboard and draws attention to the constructed nature of both filmmaking and the social order. A series of near-identical shots follow – like students descending a staircase or Tehran’s chaotic traffic – but in two competing modes that reflect discipline and anarchy, reinforcing the filmmaker and society’s attempt to organise the disorder.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1981 | Iran | 15 mins
Ostensibly also a film for children, this picture-book essay about the range of hues that brighten our world has the air of a delightfully playful formalistic exercise. This commissioned short heightens children’s awareness of colours through everyday objects, and at the same time offers some of Kiarostami’s thoughts on Iran’s pre-Revolution consumerism.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1976 | Iran | 16 mins
Kiarostami uses contrasting sound to mimic the experiences of an old man strolling through noisy city streets while tinkering with his hearing aid. When he arrives home and removes the aid, his granddaughter recruits her schoolfriends to get his attention from outside. A meditation on the contrasts of silence and sound, age and youth, solitude and solidarity.
Abbas Kiarostami | 1982 | Iran | 17 mins
Across three consecutive Wednesdays, we will be co-presenting films with the Melbourne Cinémathèque. Sessions are currently only available to pre-purchase in advance as part of a 3, 6 or 10 session pass. Tickets are limited.
READ: Short and Sweet
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment, Jul 2000
READ: The Signature Themes in Abbas Kiarostami’s Masterful Short Films
Anthony Hawley, Hyperallergic, Aug 2019
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