Contemporary Neorealist Principles in Abbas Kiarostami’s Filmmaking (1997 – 2005)
By Luke Buckle.
Iranian film has in recent decades comprised an increasingly important and influential cinema. The Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 paved the way for freedom of artistic and literary expression, communicating a new generation of unheard voices in Iranian society. More specifically Iranian cinema has progressed in maintaining an identity that reflects both a contemporary nation and auteuristic cinematics. Abbas Kiarostami is one of the more recent and leading film directors rewarded with critical and filmmaking acclaim out of Iran, producing contemporary snapshots of society and culture. His filmmaking methods and ideals are very much reflective of the style of post Second World War Italian Neorealism. In context and filmmaking principles Kiarostami adapts the conventions of Neorealism in exploring contemporary Iranian socio-cultural problems in a similar manner. This project aims to explore the relationship between the style and context of his filmmaking in terms of mise-en-scène, themes and socio-cultural concerns. It shows how Kiarostami creates a distinctive form of Neorealist filmmaking to get at the ‘truths’ of contemporary Iranian life in a particular way. In doing so an emergent strand of a modern-Neorealism becomes apparent.
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Luke Buckle is an English graduate and Film research postgraduate currently looking to start his career in writing and editing, having just finished his Master’s by Research at the University of Hertfordshire.