Some Anagrams for Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016)

I’ve been thinking of master film-maker Abbas Kiarostami. Here are some anagrams–with adjusted punctuation–of the titles of some of my favorite films that he either wrote or directed:

A Moonlight Inn Freed
Of Cheery Strata.

Revolt, Our High Esthete—
Defy Tropic Ice.

Look On, Evil Enemies.
Howl, Albino Teeth.

A Wild Century Whirls.


Kiarostami, Certified Copy, Kiarostamimania

The two characters in the film met just hours ago before this moment, but they have also been married to each other for years. Kiarostami used no special effects to achieve this.

Continue reading

A Tale of Two ‘Ten/10’s’ (Women as Men’s Salvation)

You miserable, little son of a bitch10 – Julie Andrews, after seeing her boyfriend walking around naked with naked women

I know it’s hard to lose…You lose at times, unfortunatelyTen – Mania Akbari, speaking to her friend about a man rejecting marriage with her


Could there be two more dissimilar films with the same title? Or are they? Blake Edwards’s 1979 Southern California sex romp which made beaded, cornrow hairstyles chic, pretty much completely objectifies women, while Kiarostami’s 2002 film set exclusively in a car examines the challenges of Iranian women and also features a female hairstyle much more subversive in light of that culture. (Just yesterday, filmmaker and Kiarostami collaborator Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and twenty years of silence for making propaganda against the regime.)

Continue reading

Eight is Enough

NOTE: This was written in the infancy of my knowledge about cinema. Surely, eight is not enough. John Ford, Carl Dreyer, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Eric Rohmer, and Jean-Luc Godard are names that must be there as well.

I love film.

I want to pay tribute to eight film directors who have changed the way I see life.

Robert Altman 1925-2006

Continue reading

Brevity, Part 3: Long Takes Continued (well, they’re long)

While writing my previous post, I grew aware that I wasn’t mentioning any women filmmakers. So I’d like to add something addressing that (because of course one can find numerous examples). And along the way, I’ll also try to say more in general about the power—and limitations—of the long take.

Continue reading