Roads and Rain | Abbas Kiarostami
Last summer, Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami exhibited a series of photographs titled “Roads and Rain” at London’s Purdy Hicks gallery. Self-taught photographer since the 1970’s and known best for his critically acclaimed films that contemplatively portray the life and landscapes of rural (and earthquake-devastated) Iran, he began exhibiting his photographic work in the 90s, having called it a “purer” medium than cinema. “The moment of the picture is one of personal truth, not of a story. I feel something in a landscape and want to capture it; only that moment is shown.” Here is a selection of shots from his London exhibition, via the Guardian.
Kiarostami chose the first picture (above) as his “best shot” for the Guardian’s My Best Shot series. He explains:
“During the revolution of 1979, it was impossible to make films, and I escaped from the city and found shelter in the countryside. I started making pictures, and they became like gifts to take back to people in the city. I could share the landscape with them through photography. I prefer the countryside to cities. This is also true of my films: I have made more films in rural societies, and villages, than in towns.”
Admiring the effects of raindrops on the windshield of his car during his travels through rural landscapes, Kiarostami found in digital photography a much easier means of capturing this than through traditional film.
“So I took my car windscreen as a frame, and I turned off the windscreen wipers so as not to wipe off the rain – I wanted the raindrops to remain on the glass.”
“I drove with one hand on the wheel, and used my other hand to take pictures. But maybe I shouldn’t say that – I wouldn’t want to promote bad driving.”
Here’s an excerpt Abbas Kiarostami’s film 10 on Ten, in which talks about using a digital camera. via Refraction.
Kiarostami’s next film, Certified Copy, shot in Tuscany in French and English, will be his first feature to be filmed outside Iran.