Worth noting that the flow of Iranian films virtually stopped some time ago. The crackdown would be expected to get worse now but has it in fact been accomplished?
What is the film scene like INSIDE Iran? We don’t know but I suspect it’s pretty arid.
What effect do we have as film fans supporting output from a country like Iran?
With censorship, I suspect our love of certain films may be hurtful for their release and exposure as there is some general suspicion on the part of Iranian critics that westerners mostly enjoy films that make their country look bad.
The high grossing films in Iran are apparently pretty sad. But it does have an industry. Once theaters were reopened.
Odd. I watched Persepolis on DVD yesterday. Using the recommendations previously listed as a guide, it may be the only Iranian film I’ve ever seen.
My partner, while visiting her physician earlier this week, was introduced to her doctor’s new ‘assistant’. When she asked him to spell his name, he concluded by saying he’s from Iran “you know, part of the Axis of Evil”. A doctor in Iran, an assistant in Canada.
So my partner’s physican is Jewish, she’s employed a Muslim until he regains his status, I’m Jewish, and my blonde partner is a Shiksa.
I’m so glad that I live in Canada, and that the USA is our closest neighbour.
Ater having just seen this film, thanks to a suggestion on another thread dealing with religion in film, I would highly recommend Sokhout/Silence (1998) by Moshen Makhmalbaf. Beautiful cinematography, music, and setting. The film concerns a young blind boy with a heightened sense of hearing that helps guide him through the challenges life throws at him. A magical film, that is a great tribute to the best of Iranian cinema. Makhmalbaf’s statement on the current crisis in Iran is on the thread posted about the crisis: Unrelated: Uprising in Iran:
wait… I thought Persepolis was a French film…???
Kandahar (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami)
The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
At Five in the Afternoon (Samira Makhmalbaf)
Blackboards (Samira Makhmalbaf)
My favourites in order. If you pick up the DVD for At Five In The Afternoon (the UK release anyway) there’s a great little documentary on there about eduction for women under a branch of Islam. Kandahar is brilliant, moving and surreal at times.
The Lizard (2004) is one of the funniest films I’ve seen
I saw Avaze gonjeshk-ha (Song of Sparrows) by Majid Majidi at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last year and have been dying to get a copy. This movie opened my eyes to Iranian culture, and I was amazed at how much I have depended on the media for my understanding of other cultures. I really connect with the characters even though our culture is so different. In fact going to the festival opened my eyes to international film making and to some of the shortcomings in US film, mainly the lack of allowing the viewer to discern allegories and metaphors. It appears in modern cinema that the audience is considered retarded and must have everything explained in fine detail.
Anyone know what the deal is with Kiarostami’s Shirin, It came out a while back but I haven’t seen anything about a DVD release. It’s admittedly a tough sell but with his reputation i figured it would at least be out overseas.
god… Kandahar? Man, that was a rough movie.
Looking forward to Song of Sparrows for sure.
NO IDEA about Shirin. Curious, though.
And yes… again… PERSPEPOLIS. Not an IRANIAN movie…
A French movie… from France. and a little bit of the USA.
Kiarostami is one of my favorite directors… And some of my favorite Iranian films:
Homework (one of my all time top 10)
Brick and Mirror
Turtles Can Fly
THe House is Black
The Wind Will Carry Us
Moment of Innocence
Children of Heaven
Color of Paradise
Here are my opinions of the ones I’ve seen:
A Taste of Cherry = great
Close-Up = great
The Wind Will Carry Us = great
Ten = great
Five = very good
Through the Olive Trees = very good
Where is the Friend’s Home? = good
Ten on Ten = good
Breaktime (short film) = very good
The Chorus (short) = great
The Bread and Alley (short) = very good
Two Solutions for One Problem (short) = very good
ABC Africa = okay
A Moment of Innocence = great
Kandahar = great
The Cyclist = good
The Apple = very good
Blackboards = good
Song of Sparrows = great
Baran = good
White Balloon Shrug = can’t remember, it’s been too long
Offside = very good
The House is Black (short documentary) = very good
Rakhshan Bani Etemad
Under the Skin of the City = very good
Half Moon = great
Turtles Can Fly = great
Men at Work = okay
Bemani = great
The Cow = good
The Lady = okay
Tinar / Lonely = good
Marjane Satrapi , Paronnaud
Persepolis = very good
regarding the poem from The Wind Will Carry Us, is that a transcription from the subtitles, or an independent translation of the poem? If the latter, who’s the translator? And what is the name of the poet?
Translating poetry is quite different from translating prose, and the translation of poetry in subtitles is sometimes inferior, as in for example the poem in L’Homme sur Train.
@ petrocephalon: It was written by Forugh Farrokhzad, who was an amazing woman and one of my personal inspirations. The Wind Will Take Us was apparently translated by Ahmad Karimi Hakkak, as per that site. Everyone should see her short documentary, The House is Black.
As for Iranian cinema… I’m currently in love with Shirin Neshat, whose photography I adore as well:
Thank you, Myra.
The lines …clouds, like a procession of mourners / seem to be waiting for the moment of rain… arrested me during the movie.
I’ll look around for her work.
House is Black is interesting. Seeing as well as contemporary Iranian films makes me thing that Iranians are poets at heart. Speaking of poetry, one of the best poetic films I’ve seen—and possibly the best film of the 90s—is Makhmalbaf’s Gabbeh. I need to see it again to see if it’s as great as I remember. Anyone else see and love that one?
I just watched Gabbeh tonight, Jazzaloha. It was, indeed, great.
Iran are on a roll- they’ve just knocked out France in our film world cup to make the 1/4 finals!
we need more Iranian New Wave of the 70’s in the World Cup!!!
I’ve made an IRANIAN CINEMA list. Come to my page to look at it.
the mirror was the best iranian film I have seen
Cant live without persian films !!!!
Brick and Mirror and The Night it Rained are 2 mid 60s masterpieces i’m glad to have seen now. My sky high expectations of Saless’ minimalist Still Life weren’t quite met, but i sometimes fall for lushness rather than such austerity; just my own psychological make-up. I understand his German films are great.
Any news on the imprisoned Panahi and Rasoulof? What an indictment of the government.
Where Is The Friend’s Home is my fav from Abbas
my favourite films :
Still life ( Shahid Saless )
A simple event ( Shahid Saless )
The runner ( Naderi )
The mongols ( Kimiavi )
Brick and mirror ( Golestan )
Tranquility in the presence of others ( Taghvai )
The house is black ( Farrokhzad )
Crimson Gold ( Panahi )
The hunter ( Pitts )
2 Iranian films in Sight & Sound’s top 10 of the year. A Separation came second, and tops Apursansar’s annual list. Well worth seeing. A couple split up as she wants to go abroad, he wants to stay to look after his dad with Alzheimer’s, and his daughter remains with him, but is understandably torn right up to the end. Trouble arises when a woman comes to care for the grandfather. We see the justice system at work, and issues of honesty, truth and varying motives for behaviour and outlook arise. The girl is the one who seems to have her head screwed on, but suffers from the adults’ actions. Farhadi provides no easy answers or justification- in some ways it’s a bleak view of humanity yet although the father-daughter relationship is foremost and therefore most likely to have audience sympathy, everyone has their reasons, extending into the wider system.
This is a general question – I’m trying to understand as much as I can about the conditions in modern Iran, and have much to learn…
Simin talks moving abroad with her daughter because she doesn’t want Termeh growing up in “the prevailing conditions.” – I’d like to know more about these conditions. We’re talking about government censorship of the arts and the general regional treatment of women? Is there more? Because Simin is ready to jump ship and will not wait, even at tremendous expense to her family.