"With this type of movie, we as viewers can create things according to our own experiences—the things we don’t see, that aren’t visible. There are eleven people in this movie who are not visible. At the end you know you haven’t seen them, but you feel you know who they were and what they were about. I want to create the type of cinema that shows by not showing. This is very different from most movies nowadays, which are not literally pornographic but are in essence pornographic, because they show so much that they take away any possibility of imagining things for ourselves. My aim is to give the chance to create as much as possible in our minds, through creativity and imagination. I want to tap the hidden information that’s within yourself and that you probably didn’t even know existed inside you. We have a saying in Persian, when somebody is looking at something with real intensity: He had two eyes and he borrowed two more. Those two borrowed eyes are what I want to capture—the eyes that will be borrowed by the viewer to see what’s outside the scene he’s looking at. To see what is there and also what is not there.” — Abbas Kiarostami


"I remember for a long time as a young man I wouldn’t take what I see on TV for granted. I would never accept generalizing ‘that’s how Americans are,’ or ‘that’s how Japanese are.’ I was always much more interested in individuals rather than a culture or a country in general sense. This collective judgment or agreement on certain culture has always annoyed me. I deeply believe, excluding ideological positions, that we are the same. In details we can have our differences but in the main aspects of our lives—our sufferings, joy and pain—no matter if we are Japanese, American or Iranian, we are the same human beings. So if you have this as the principle of life and relationship, then it shows in your work."
Abbas KiarostamiBorn June 22, 1940

"I remember for a long time as a young man I wouldn’t take what I see on TV for granted. I would never accept generalizing ‘that’s how Americans are,’ or ‘that’s how Japanese are.’ I was always much more interested in individuals rather than a culture or a country in general sense. This collective judgment or agreement on certain culture has always annoyed me. I deeply believe, excluding ideological positions, that we are the same. In details we can have our differences but in the main aspects of our lives—our sufferings, joy and pain—no matter if we are Japanese, American or Iranian, we are the same human beings. So if you have this as the principle of life and relationship, then it shows in your work."

Abbas Kiarostami
Born June 22, 1940

Filmmakers photographed by Xavier Lambours.


"People have curiosity, they have intelligence, they have interest in understanding their peers. But producers and directors of cinema have decided that the seats in the theaters have been made to transform people’s minds to lazy minds. As soon as they enter a theater they must become moron consumers who must be fed information. Those same people, when they leave the theater, when they look behind the curtains they are curious about their neighbors, they can guess if their neighbors are siblings or a couple, how old they are, what their occupation is. They are curious about each other and they can understand each other without being fed information. Why should it be different in cinema? In real life, when someone’s partner calls them, they can tell from the first word their partner says what their mood is. In my films, I try to give people as little information as possible, which is still much more than what they get in real life. I feel that they should be grateful for the little bit of information I give them. If they were as inquisitive when they come to watch my films as they are in real life, they’d make my life easier." — Abbas Kiarostami, Filmmaker Magazine

"People have curiosity, they have intelligence, they have interest in understanding their peers. But producers and directors of cinema have decided that the seats in the theaters have been made to transform people’s minds to lazy minds. As soon as they enter a theater they must become moron consumers who must be fed information. Those same people, when they leave the theater, when they look behind the curtains they are curious about their neighbors, they can guess if their neighbors are siblings or a couple, how old they are, what their occupation is. They are curious about each other and they can understand each other without being fed information. Why should it be different in cinema? In real life, when someone’s partner calls them, they can tell from the first word their partner says what their mood is. In my films, I try to give people as little information as possible, which is still much more than what they get in real life. I feel that they should be grateful for the little bit of information I give them. If they were as inquisitive when they come to watch my films as they are in real life, they’d make my life easier." — Abbas Kiarostami, Filmmaker Magazine

"When I’m in the process of making a movie I’m not thinking about the finished result, and whether people have to see it once or more than once, and what the reaction to it will be. I just make it, and then I live with the consequences, some of which may not be as pleasant as I’d like! I know one thing, however. Many viewers may come out of the theater not satisfied, but they won’t be able to forget the movie. I know they’ll be talking about it during their next dinner. I want them to be a little restless about my movies, and keep trying to find something in them."
— Abbas Kiarostami (born June 22, 1940)

"When I’m in the process of making a movie I’m not thinking about the finished result, and whether people have to see it once or more than once, and what the reaction to it will be. I just make it, and then I live with the consequences, some of which may not be as pleasant as I’d like! I know one thing, however. Many viewers may come out of the theater not satisfied, but they won’t be able to forget the movie. I know they’ll be talking about it during their next dinner. I want them to be a little restless about my movies, and keep trying to find something in them."

Abbas Kiarostami (born June 22, 1940)

Ten Films by Abbas Kiarostami

Where is the Friend’s Home? | Close-Up | Life, and Nothing More… | Through the Olive Trees | Taste of Cherry | The Wind Will Carry Us | Ten | Shirin | Certified Copy | Like Someone in Love

Abbas Kiarostami and the cast of Like Someone in Love at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami

Close-Up // dir. Abbas Kiarostami

Close-Up // dir. Abbas Kiarostami