by Cristiana Paternò
Abbas Kiarostami has fallen in love with Tuscany.
The Iranian director discovered the Maremma district in a few days at the end of June when he was the President of the jury of the 14th edition of the Festival di Capalbio, one of the most important Italian events dedicated to short films.
During that time, between screenings and jury meetings, he wandered about the area, along the coast and inland, looking for ideas and locations for his new movie, “The Certified copy”, which will be co-produced using Italian capital.
“My movies always come out of personal circumstances, life experiences, even of a casual nature, never by sitting at a desk, never from novels”.
Kiarostami, who was called upon to asses the 27 shorts in competition, passed several very intense yet relaxing days taking in Massa Marittima and Sorano, as he waited to get back to work on his second Italian project, after “Tickets”, the collective work realized with Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach, presented at the Berlinale.
Traveling again, this time by car, between Florence and San Gimignano, in the most classic part of Tuscany much loved by foreigners, he then turned southwards towards Grosseto, amidst the wild, sunny landscapes once considered to be unhealthy and now elegant and rather snobbish tourist destinations.
These long camera cars run through all the Iranian maestro’s movies and he has said that: “The car is my best friend, my office, my home and my set.
It is a very intimate place because when you are in a car with somebody you have a feeling of proximity, you are not facing each other but you are side by side.
You only look at each other if you really want to otherwise you can look around yourself or in front, at an ever-changing screen, without appearing to be rude.
Silence does not weigh heavily either, you are free to sit quietly”. The same will be true for the two protagonists of “The certified copy”, with self-mocking comments from the actors: “This feels just like a film by Kiarostami”, she says. And he replies: “Who is Kiarostami?”.
Shooting will only begin in March 2008 because the director is having difficulty finding a leading man “” he would like a big name American actor “” to star alongside Juliette Binoche in the role of a writer who meets a stranger during a brief business trip: the script is based on an event which happened ten years ago in Florence when Abbas was on a festival jury.
Cinema&Video International n. 8-9 August/September 2007