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24 Frames

Abbas Kiarostami
Iran, France 2017 / 114’
3 Faces

Photography always had a special place in the life of Abbas Kiarostami. As soon as he graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Tehran in 1960, and while already imagining a career of filmmaker for himself, he began to capture images, taking to the road to photograph still lifes and Iranian landscapes. He never stopped with this formal research, and as his protean oeuvre grew, he accumulated hundreds of prints, shown during special exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou and the MoMA in 2007. In his last film, 24 Frames, Abbas Kiarostami took up a unique challenge: to create a dialogue between his work as a filmmaker and as a photographer, building bridges between the two artistic expressions to which he dedicated his life. 

The 24 Frames project was born from an interrogation that was both artistic and metaphysical: what happens in the moments before and after a photograph is taken? What imaginary hereafter does an image conceal? In order to answer such questions, Abbas Kiarostami invented a remarkable technical device: he selected twenty photographs from his personal collection, which he then animated and staged. Using digital tools, discreet 3D inserts and green screens, he resurrected those images of the past and tried to rediscover the emotions he felt when taking them. 

In very complex scenographies that mirror his genius and delicately poetic gaze, Abbas Kiarostami stages group of tourists staring at the Eiffel Tower, horses prancing through snowy fields, and flocks of birds flying over industrial landscapes. Beyond the aesthetic emotion generated by those images reminiscent of the author's experimental masterpieces (Ten), the film also exists as a meditation on time past, the transformation of territories, and the fragility of existence. Melancholic and luminous, earnest and mischievous, these short sequences provide us with a subtle portrait of Abbas Kiarostami.

CG Cinéma


Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2017 - Artistic Acknowledgement

Abbas Kiarostami

Born in 1940 in Tehran, passed away in 2016 in Paris. Interested in art from an early age, he won a painting competition at eighteen years old and left his home to study at Tehran University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Throughout the 1960’s, Kiarostami worked in advertising, making commercials, designing posters, creating credit titles for films, and illustrating children’s books. His career in film began at the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults at the age of 30. He has since written, directed, edited, and produced over thirty shorts, features, and documentaries that have won acclaim both at home and abroad. Though his style have been compared at various times to other directors’ poetics, his films remain uniquely Kiarostamian. Effortlessly simple and conceptually complex in equal measure; poetic, lyrical, meditative, self-reflexive and increasingly sophisticated.

Selected filmography

1994 Pod oliwkami / Zire darakhatan zeyton / Through the Olive Trees

1995 Lumière i spółka / Lumière et compagnie / Lumière and Company (doc.)

1997 Smak wiśni / Ta’m e guilass / Taste of Cherry

1999 Uniesie nas wiatr / Bad ma ra khahad bord / The Wind Will Carry Us

2010 Zapiski z Toskanii / Copie conforme / Certified Copy

2012 Like Someone in Love

Cast & Crew

director Abbas Kiarostami
screenplay Abbas Kiarostami
cinematography Abbas Kiarostami
editing Abbas Kiarostami
sound Ensiyeh Maleki
producer Abbas Kiarostami, Charles Gillibert
production CG Cinéma
sales CG Cinéma
language no dialogue
colouration colour & b&w