Thursday, November 17, 2005

Q+A on Kiarostami’s “The Roads of Kiarostami”

Q: Why at the end does the path dissapear? I noticed that in only one shot there is the trunk of the tree and the shadow of the branches, but no path. Even when we see no path in some other shots, but we see more than one tree, there is an implied path - we still see a place to walk.

A: I didn’t want to limit myself only to paths like these. Do you think if you eliminate that part you would have any problems with the rest? Since I am sitting in a teacher’s seat, I will tell you: Don’t see it that way, look at it as a whole. Say we elimate that part, would it be a perfect work?

Q: No.

A: So you must learn to look at the work as a whole. If the problem is just a single tree or one image, than you could impose just a few blank scenes, or edit it out, but that does not change the work as a whole. If it wasn’t a problem why aren’t you talking about the whole film? If you see a beautiful face, don’t single out a birth mark and just talk about that single trait. Talk about the face.


Q2: Me, I saw the poetry, it was a poem. Why did you burn the poem at the end?

A: My interest was to create worries and anxiety about the future of the world. After Hiroshima no one talked about the wing of a butterfly.

A: As students we must learn how to see before we can create. We must learn to look at the world in a more poetic way...

The last image was a dog looking at the camera, or at us. When the image burned while filming it surprised me, I thought the dog was alive. It was not an image anymore.

Q: It reminded me of how sometimes things look so wide and empty and deep.
Would you want to address on something about the “god’s voice” or voiceover? (Referring to a prior comment by Kiarostami that a "God's Voice" or voiceover narration is artificial in film.)

A: There is no absolute definition of anything. Everything if it is relevant can be changed and modified. And I’m glad you asked that question because I can easily change my mind. My point is that you can easily change your opinion and mind also. In this case I was talking about my own photography and why I do photography. In this film I was talking about myself, so let’s imagine that the camera is on me but I omitted my face. As much as I have the right to an interview to talk about myself, you can see this the same way. There is nothing wrong in narration. But even the worst thing, like a “god’s voice voiceover,” if you use it properly in the right place can make sense. Nothing is wrong.


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