Abbas Kiarostami

“I feel the rhythm of Armenia’s life, which resembles the inner rhythm of Sergei Parajanov‘s films.”


— Abbas Kiarostami

I once spoke with Abbas Kiarostami about Sergei Parajanov at the Cannes Film Festival. He said he was looking forward to attending the premiere of the restored Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates), but I didn’t see him at the screening (he was a juror and something must have come up).

I really wanted to ask him about Ovanes Ohanian, the Armenian filmmaker who founded Persian cinema in Iran (but whose 1930 film Abi da Rabi was destroyed in the fire), as well as about Paradjanov’s influence on Iranian cinema in general, on Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and others. www.parajanov.com/kiarostami.html

I just heard that Abbas Kiarostami passed away in Paris. I particularly loved his film Close Up. Kiarostami, recalling his relationship with the star of that film, said: “At a festival where a Parajanov film was being screened, there was no room for me, and he saw me from within the crowd and he came out so that I could go into the auditorium.” Farewell, Abbas.

— Martiros M. Vartanov


Parajanov-Vartanov Institute