This program features Abbas Kiarostami’s earliest work: short films set in classrooms and political allegories about the looming revolution of the late 1970s. “Try to imagine Laurel and Hardy directed by Robert Bresson," Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote in describing Two Solutions for One Problem, a charming screwball comedy about tolerance and civility. In Solution No. 1, a driver has to deal with a flat tire on top of the Alborz Mountain, precisely the sort of literal and metaphorical conundrum that the engineer in The Wind Will Carry Us must face. Originally titled Teachers: A Few Sketches and Memories and commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Tribute to Teachers is a series of nuanced, touching interviews with school teachers. It serves as a prelude to First Case, Second Case, a banned pseudo-documentary from 1979 that testifies to Kiarostami’s political shrewdness and his sense of imminent revolution in Iran. Remarkably, Kiarostami achieved this without leaving his comfort zone, the classroom setting, and by staying faithful to his inquiring style, with its subtle, imaginative manipulation of recorded reality.
Do Rah-e Hal Bara-ye Yek Mas’aleh (Two Solutions for One Problem). 1975. Iran. Written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami. In Persian; English subtitles. 5 min.
Rah Hal-e Yek (Solution No. 1). 1978. Iran. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. No dialogue. 12 min.
Mo’allem: Chand Sima va Khatereh (Tribute to the Teachers). 1977. Iran. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. In Persian; English subtitles. 17 min.
Ghazieh Shekl-e Avval…Shekl-e Dovvom (First Case, Second Case). 1979. Iran. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. In Persian; English subtitles. 48 min.
DCPs courtesy Janus Films
Program 82 min.