Customer Reviews: Abbas Kiarostami (Contemporary Film Directors)
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on April 1, 2005
This book consists of a 41 page essay by Rosenbaum, a 30 page essay by Saeed-Vafa, a 22 page dialogue between the two authors and ends with 20 pages of various interviews with Kiarostami. Rosenbaum, always a strong proponent of world cinema, gives an good introduction to Iranian cinema in general and also to Kiarostami. Saeed-Vafa writes as a native Iranian and from a feminist perspective. Both essays are interesting and informative.

My major criticism comes in the dialogue between the authors: Rosenbaum uses the conversation to continue a spat he was having with fellow writer Howard Hampton, who thought Rosenbaum liked foreign directors too much and domestic directors too little. While Saeed-Vafa tries to bring the dialogue to more relevant topics, Rosebaum continually brings Hampton back up: "What about Hampton's charge that I..." and later "Maybe Hampton thinks I'm being snobbish..." He just comes off as being petty. The two authors also take shots at well-known movie critic Roger Ebert for not liking Kiarostami.

Overall, this is a good introduction to Kiarostami and I would still recommend it to those interested in him or Iranian cinema in general, but the dialogue section gets a little bogged down with the professional spat between Rosenbaum and Hampton.
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