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Javid, Sareh (2017) The Traveller : A Philosophical Journey through Kiarostami’s Cinema. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The primary goal of this thesis is to provide a way to look at Kiarostami’s cinema philosophically, or a key to assist in unlocking and unpacking philosophical questions, concepts and themes in his cinema. To this end, I analysed Kiarostami’s cinema through Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the cinema, Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of nothingness and the specific role that Martin Heidegger grants to poets in the destitution time. My main focus in this thesis is on Kiarostami’s first feature film The Traveller (1974), since this film has been widely ignored in the literature. Concentrating on this particular film, I endeavoured to show that almost all the formal and aesthetic features that has been considered as the characteristics of Kiarostami’s cinema was already existed in The Traveller. I attempted to show that The Traveller is essentially a modern film where “nothingness” finds a narrative place and to demonstrate that this film well fits into the Deleuze’s time-image model. I also explicated key elements of Deleuze’s Kafka-inspired notion of “minor cinema” to show that Kiarostami’s cinema is a politically engaged one where politics is not represented but enacted. Another key concept that I utilized in this endeavour is Heidegger’s “disenchantment of modernity” where the need for great poetry is felt more than ever, because I maintain that poetry is the very foundation of all Kiarostami’s films. For this purpose, I first tried to demonstrate that Kiarsotami’s cinema is structurally poetic with the help of the characteristics that Pier Paolo Pasolini considers for the cinema of poetry and Deleuze’s “crystal-image”. Secondly, I endeavoured to illuminate that Kiarostami takes the role that Heidegger grants to poets which is to say to prepare us, “the preserver”, for the “holy”. Throughout this thesis, I endeavoured to fill in the gaps in the theoretical analysis of Kiarostami’s cinema by making connections between concepts and images that may not be apparent, addressing elisions in his films.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Tania Tribe
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 09:16

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