Thursday, March 19, 2009

Abbas Kiarostami on the Internet

Geoff Andrew's BFI Modern Classics volume on Abbas Kiarostami's 10 (2005) is the third book I've read on the Iranian director (the other two being Alberto Elena's magisterial The Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami and Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa's collection Abbas Kiarostami). One frustration I've encountered in reading each of them is that they often discuss early Kiarostami films (many of them shorts produced prior to his more well known works) that I've never been able to see. This is not any kind of flaw in the books, of course, since I think in each case discussion of the early work is obviously justified (and I appreciate at least knowing about these early films even if I can't see them). But due to my own situation as a viewer and the poor (non-) distribution of Kiarostami's early work, at least in the U.S., it's still a problem.

It is for these reasons that I was happy to find that at least a few of Kiarostami's early films are now available on the Internet. Everything I've found so far has been posted on You Tube and on other download sites, although I imagine more digging might reveal more digitized Kiarostami lurking elsewhere. (If I come across any more in the future, I'll add them to this post, barring copyright restrictions). I thought it would be useful to have what I could find located all in one place. These are no substitutes for the actual prints or high-quality DVD transfers of the films, the latter of which I hope exist someday. But at least they give us some sense of what Andrew, Elena, and the other authors are writing about in their monographs.

These videos are organized chronologically. (The Chorus, by the way, was never released in two parts; that's merely how it's presented on the You Tube site).

Bread and Alley (1970) (Note: Due to copyright restrictions, You Tube had to remove the soundtrack from the film, which features a piece of music that could not be reproduced. However, if you look hard enough, the full version of this film is available w/soundtrack on the Internet. Google, my friends).

The Breaktime (1972)

2 Solutions for 1 Problem (1975)

The Chorus (1982) (file divided into two parts):

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