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“Film begins with D.W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami.” —Jean-Luc Godard "Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema." —Martin Scorsese
A retrospective of Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016) highlighting The Koker Trilogy and the films that brought him international renown as well as some key early work from the 70s—all restorations undertaken by the Criterion Collection and MK2, with the invaluable contribution of Abbas’ son, Ahmad Kiarostami.
"Abbas Kiarostami deserves more credit than any other single director for fueling the recent rise of Iranian cinema, arguably the most dramatic film development of the past dozen years. The excitement started when his slyly reflexive CLOSE-UP reached the international circuit in the early Nineties, and crested when his extraordinary TASTE OF CHERRY shared the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1997. While a handful of his Iranian colleagues have also achieved a fair share of Western recognition—including Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Jafar Panahi, both of whom have collaborated with him—he has remained the most highly visible figure, thanks to films like the so-called Koker trilogy (WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE?; AND LIFE GOES ON; THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES) that have earned ecstatic reviews and drawn enthusiastic art-house audiences in Europe and the United States." —David Sterritt, Film Comment
The 2K digital restoration of The Koker Trilogy was undertaken by the Criterion Collection from 4K scans of the 35 mm original camera negatives. The remaining 2K and 4K restorations were undertaken by MK2 in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata from 2K or 4K scans of the best available elements.