Taste of Cherry

Reposting in honor of the life of one of the medium’s greatest masters. The legacy of Kiarostami lives on.

Life and Nothing More

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(Dir. Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1997)

A Reason to Live

In the past I’ve written extensively on the distinctive traits of Abbas Kiarostami’s wholly unique aesthetic in the world of cinema. Sure, he has his influences – Roberto Rossellini, Satyajit Ray, poet Forough Farrokhzad’s only, yet hugely influential short film The House Is Black – and yet there are no other films – past or present – quite like his. And, though there are styles, trademarks, and recurring motifs throughout each of his works, there is also one unifying theme that ties each of his greatest films – especially from his classic ‘90s period – together, one that says something perhaps more about Kiarostami the person than Kiarostami the filmmaker. Without a doubt, the man wholeheartedly cherishes life. His films may not be as obviously sentimental as the usual middlebrow schlock that gets American filmgoers teary-eyed come Oscar season, but there’s…

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A Brighter Summer Day

Reblogging in honor of the Criterion release that just showed up in the mail. It’s a brighter spring day indeed!

Life and Nothing More

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(Dir. Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1991)

Lost in the World

A strong case could be made for Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day as the quintessential Taiwanese film as it’s concerned with the residual effects of the events that shaped this modern nation state in the wake of a severe split with its motherland. Yang’s film documents this crucial period in Taiwan’s history from the perspective of the next generation. The year is 1960, and political dissidents who fled mainland China in 1949 are now raising their children on this foreign island. Yang devotes some time to these aging individuals who still must cope with that jarring displacement, but he primarily focuses on Taipei’s youth – born into exile and forced to adapt despite their parents’ recurring pitfalls. It is no surprise, then, that Yang suggests these teens turn to street gangs to find their identity and Western pop culture to…

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The Apu Trilogy

In honor of Criterion releasing this trilogy on DVD and Blu-Ray today, I’m reposting this evaluation from this summer.

Life and Nothing More

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(Dir. Satyajit Ray, India, 1955, 56, & 59)

To Live

From 1955 to 1959, revered Bengali director Satyajit Ray released three films based on two novels by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay comprised of Pather Panchali (1955), Aparjito (1956), and Apur Sansar (1959). Together the three films are known as the Apu Trilogy.


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Boyhood: Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

Inspired by his meeting of acclaimed French filmmaker Jean Renoir during the shoot of Renoir’s The River on location in India and a screening of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves that would change his life forever, the young Satyajit Ray decided to venture into filmmaking himself. But, defying the pervading trend of elaborate, melodramatic Hindi films popular in his native India at the time, Ray set out to channel the Italian neorealism that captured him with de Sica’s classic tale of poverty and loss. Adapting author Bandyopadhyay’s popular bildungsroman for…

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