Japan has honored acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami with the Order of the Rising Sun (Kyokujitsu Shoujusho), given to those who have made advancements in promoting Japanese culture to the outside world and achievements in international relations. The filmmaker has been hailed as being a bridge between the two countries in terms of developing cultural relations.
In a ceremony held at the Japanese embassy in Tehran last Sunday, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda praised Kiarostami for being a “renowned Iranian director” that has gained popularity among the Japanese audience and has also brought a touch of Japanese culture to his native Iran. Last year saw his Japanese language-drama Like Someone in Love premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Shot mostly in Tokyo and Yokohama, the contemporary romance starred Japanese TV star Rin Takanashi as well as veteran actor Tadashi Okuno. It received a mostly positive response at the prestigious film festival, and since then the film has made the rounds in other countries like France, Portugal and of course in Japan.
Kiarostami’s movies are known for simple stories but told in ways that defy conventional techniques. He has also often employed the documentary style for his films and often uses young protagonists for his films. He also has the reputation of using contemporary Iranian poetry as inspiration for his films’ titles, dialogue and even themes. He won the 1997 Cannes Golden Palm award for his film Taste of Cherry, and has also created works in other fields like painting, photography and poetry, with some referring to him as a modern-day “Renaissance man”.
[ via Press TV ]