Possibly the single most important filmmaker of our time. Gone, just like that… The loss that Cinema had to suffer over the past 12 hours is simply unquantifiable. A sorry state of affairs that having to let go great cinéastes is far more commonplace than encountering the new greats these days.
Like Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, and Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Kiarostami was not the kind to rest on his well regarded laurels. His filmography was always evolving and changing, and it is precisely this firm rejection of complacency and unmatched boldness that made him one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived. I hope people who are only now discovering his films won’t be put off by the fact that some populist critics like Roger Ebert and Mark Kermode reacted to his work without much enthusiasm.
He dedicated Five to the great Yasujiro Ozu who undoubtedly had significant artistic influences on the Iranian master. Perhaps in 40-50 years from now, Kiarostami will too receive a film of this kind that he deserves, hopefully from an equally gifted protege who will have developed his crafts looking up to him.
“Film begins with D. W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami.” – Jean-Luc Godard