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An Interview with Dr. Mohammad Sanati: Psychoanalysis of Abbas Kiarostami and his Certified Copy
The Usual Suspect
by Karim Nikoonazar

Certified Copy  In recent times, among all kinds of cinematic analyses, film fans pay more attention to psychoanalytical accounts. An obvious example of this interest is shown by vast readers of Slavoj Zizek’s controversial analyses who follow every one of his writings and speeches on the internet and in different publications. For over two decades, his use of film clips to interpret psychoanalytical theories of Jacques Lacan has caused huge uproar and brought about an onslaught of psychoanalytical film reviews. Iranian translators have also been mesmerized by Zizek’s works more than any other type of film books and these books have helped to give birth to a new kind of film criticism, out of which came the idea for the following interview. We have talked to Dr. Mohammad Sanati, psychoanalyst, author and book reviewer, about Abbas Kiarostami’s films from the viewpoint of psychoanalysis. Dr. Sanati’s analyses are sometimes so different from conventional film critics that may even be shocking.
  Jacques Rivette once said about Taste of Cherry: “Abbas Kiarostami’s works are always beautiful, but it doesn’t look like he is enjoying any discoveries any longer. I wish he could get out of his world for even a moment. I hope to see something more astonishing from him and I am sure people will pay attention to it. My God, how nosy I am!” This was a decade ago and Kiarostami has tried his hand in every kind of experiments in cinema and has tried to experience another world all together. Some of his films have been successful and some have failed with the audience. Yet, even those who don’t like his films can’t deny the fact that every one of his films in the past decade has caused a huge shock. Kiarostami has been able to experiment a new area of relating a story, and film by film, he has reached more perfection in his radical point of view regarding film structure.
  His insistence on a more specific and personal viewpoint of cinema has brought about different interpretations about him. Even a critical book was published in Iran which rejects all his experiments in cinema. However, now Kiarostami has abandoned all experimentations and instead of using video art of opera, has made a film with famous actors and a more conventional type of story. Certified Copy is a sudden change in Kiarostami’s filmmaking process in a return to a traditional storytelling which is more familiar to audience, while true Kiarostami fans can still find familiar signs in this work as well. This interview begins with review of Certified Copy, but it doesn’t stay in this film’s confines. We have tried to encompass the whole cinema of Abbas Kiarostami as a controversial phenomenon, a cinema, which is now, even more astonishing than ever...

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2011, Film International
Quarterly Magazine (ISSN 1021-6510)
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