Art And Culture

Kiarostami’s ‘24 Frames’ at Marrakech Fest

Kiarostami’s ‘24 Frames’ at Marrakech FestKiarostami’s ‘24 Frames’ at Marrakech Fest

Acclaimed filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami unveiled his latest project ‘24 Frames Before and After Lumiere’ at the 15th Marrakech Film Festival (December 4-12).

The project is a compilation, based on 24 four-and-a-half minute films that he has been directing over the last three years, and is to be released in mid-2016, Honaronline reports.

Kiarostami, 75, who is delivering a master class, screened two of the shorts, their first screening, to the audience. Each film is a fixed tableau, based on five paintings and 19 photographs. Using blue-screening techniques, the tableaux come to life, thus introducing the dimension of time into the original still image.

The helmer said that one of the inspirations for the project was his own dream to become a painter as a young man. He failed to realize it due to a lack of talent, but through “a series of lucky accidents” became a film director instead.

The first short screened during the master class was based on Jean-François Millet’s 1857 painting “The Gleaners,” which shows three peasant women picking wheat grains after the harvest. Kiarostami chose the painting to start his project “because it was one of the first paintings I saw and at the age of 16 tried to copy it.”

In the second short screened at Marrakech, a photograph of an abandoned semi-industrial landscape appears in the foreground, with three concrete columns and a wire fence. In the background, there is an empty beach and the sea, with a boat rocking in the water. Coming to life, the still image shows ducks walking along the coast in the background and a male duck in the foreground separated from the rest by the fence.

Kiarostami said the tableaux have no direct meaning and are open to interpretations by the audience.

 Six Weeks of Work

Each short required at least six weeks of work and 18 short films have been completed to date. Kiarostami is also prepping his next feature film ‘Walking with the Wind’, which he hopes to begin screening in China in May 2016.

His forthcoming project in China follows in the wake of his previous experience shooting ‘Certified Copy,’ in Italy and ‘Like Someone in Love,’ in Japan, which he said were motivated by the desire to experience different places and eras and “see what happens”.

In early 2016, Kisrostami will also be involved in an intensive 10-day workshop in Cuba where he will work with students in the production of short films. He has also been extremely active in other fields, conducting research on ancient and modern Persian poetry, writing two-to-three novels a year. In November, he opened his ‘Doors Without Keys’ photography exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.