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Kiarostami, ‘Close-Up’ Among Asia’s Best
Art And Culture

Kiarostami, ‘Close-Up’ Among Asia’s Best

Renowned Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami and his 1990 movie ‘Close-Up’ have been placed  among the top 10 Asian directors and movies of all time according to two new lists published by the South Korean Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, the festival has issued a list of the best 100 Asian movies of all time, reports Honaronline.

The ‘Asian Cinema 100’ initiative was a joint venture by the festival and the Busan Cinema Center. They called on the opinions of 73 prominent film professionals including film critics, festival programmers, and film directors, who each was asked to recommend his top 10 films. That resulted in 113 selections and 106 directors (including joint rankings) for the final 100 list.

‘Close-Up’ is ranked 10th in the list where Yasujiro Ozu’s ‘Tokyo Story’ (1953) from Japan stands at the top, ‘Rashomon’ (1950) by another Japanese director Akira Kurosawa is the second and ‘In the Mood for Love’ (2000) by Wong Kar Wai from Hong Kong has the third place. Movies from India, Taiwan, China and South Korea are also included in the list.

Kiarostami has also been chosen the third best Asian director in another list that introduces top 100 Asian directors.  Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) and Taiwanese Hsiao-hsien Hou, 68, are ranked first and second respectively.

Kiarostami, 75, wrote, directed and edited ‘Close-Up’ in 1990. A drama-documentary, the film is based on the true story of an unemployed movie buff, who passes himself off as the celebrated movie director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, to a woman he meets on a bus. He is invited to her middle-class home and leads her family to believe that, if they finance him, they will appear in his next film. Eventually, they come to suspect he is an imposter and call the police. He ends up in jail where his trial is filmed by Kiarostami.

  Global Acclaim

The movie has received international acclaim and won two awards: The Quebec Film Critics Award from the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and Video in 1990, and the FIPRESCI Prize from the International Istanbul Film Festival in 1992. It was also ranked No. 42 in the British Film Institute (BFI)’s The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time.

Last year in a poll by the Sight & Sound monthly film magazine, published by (BFI), 300 critics and filmmakers across the globe selected the best 50 documentaries made and ‘Close-Up’ came 37th in the list.

A celebrated director, Kiarostami won the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for ‘Taste of Cherry’.

‘Certified Copy’, his first film shot and produced outside Iran in Tuscany, won the Best Actress Award for the lead actress Juliette Binoche at Cannes in 2010.

Busan festival will screen the top 10 films (actually 11, including equally ranked titles) and also publish a book containing the details and reviews of the films on the list by 29 film professionals.

Festival organizers said they will repeat the exercise every five years. The 20th edition of BIFF is slated for October 1-10.

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