I thought of Herzog while watching the iguana scenes in Panahi’s This is Not a Film. Does anyone know if the Persian filmmakers cite Herzog as an influence. Or is the influence the going the other way—early Persian filmmakers influencing Herzog? I have no opinion on the matter, as I know so little about the filmmakers, but I’m hoping more knowledgeable people might shed light on this matter.
I haven’t heard anything about direct influence, but I know that during the ’90s Herzog was quoted as saying that Iranian filmmakers (specifically Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf) were making the best films in the world.
If there is I don’t see it. Kiarostami and Panahi are heavily intellectual in a far different way than Herzog, and don’t have the same visual component.
Based on what little I’ve seen by Kiarostami and Panahi, it seems to me that their contemplation of the characters that populate their films is more concerned with how they function in society and how society affects them. Kiarostami in particular has a very emotion-fueled ethical framework within which his characters move.
Herzog is more concerned with the possibilities of being, of life manifesting itself and the place humans hold in that broad context.
This is very vague, but it’s how I feel about their work.
“Kiarostami in particular has a very emotion-fueled ethical framework within which his characters move.”
yeah, he is closer to the Italian neo-realists than Herzog, although he ‘downplays’ the emotional aspect more than what they do.
@Zachary: But everyone says that! Godard even went as far as saying “Film begins with D.W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami”.
They all seem to make documentaries that are more personal, poetic and less objective. It’s about capturing images and moments that have a poetic quality—where the images or moments are rich and layered in meaning, while also evoking a strong aesthetic feeling. You guys don’t agree with that connection?
^I kinda buy that.
Herzog is too surreal to be compared to those Iranian directors though. he also has a sense for the mysterious.
Interesting thought, and I’m much more familiar with Herzog and Panahi that Kiarostrami, but I don’t really see the connection beyond the abstract (we could connect many, many artists in this way, but I don’t know if there is any direct influence here—though I would love to have a conversation with any of them and ask them that question).
@Joks: Kiarostami isn’t “surreal” in the same way that Herzog is, but I think he also has a sense of the mysterious. This is most evident in his films that synthesize documentary and fiction—such as Close-Up—which is a quality that Herzog is also known for. Also, look no further than Certified Copy, which treats a single adult relationship as the most mysterious and complex thing imaginable.
Btw,fwiw, when I say “connection” I don’t mean to imply that they’re making the same type of films. Connection implies that there is one (or a few) element that links the filmmakers together.
Zachary is dead on. There is a connection. Only the slightest similarity in style, a less slight one in theme.
Herzog once did a talk with Kiarostami at Telluride. Herzog didn’t even have a film at the fest if I recall. He came just for Abbas. Also: this
Certified copy is one film. im not about to entertain a meaningful comparison based on that! :-)
I guess you could say that they are both interested in representing ‘truths’ via an obvious manipulation(self conscious) of the medium, but Kiarostami is far too grounded in social reality.