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ESSENTIAL IRANIAN FILMS

por Kenji
Click on the green. The White Balloon , Jafar Panahi’s charming film starring Aida Mohammadkhani as a small girl with her heart set on a beautiful goldfish who has to overcome a series of obstacles and misadventures in a quite suspenseful race against time before the shop shuts for New Year. ~~ Iran has given us one of the world’s great civilisations and a noble cinema too, many films of humanity and intelligence. Common themes include children, the role of women and- in the case of the most critically admired director Kiarostami in particular-, film-making itself and the boundary of illusion and reality. I’m not including films by the… Leer más

Click on the green. The White Balloon , Jafar Panahi’s charming film starring Aida Mohammadkhani as a small girl with her heart set on a beautiful goldfish who has to overcome a series of obstacles and misadventures in a quite suspenseful race against time before the shop shuts for New Year.
~~

Iran has given us one of the world’s great civilisations and a noble cinema too, many films of humanity and intelligence. Common themes include children, the role of women and- in the case of the most critically admired director Kiarostami in particular-, film-making itself and the boundary of illusion and reality. I’m not including films by the Iranian-born Barbet Schroeder but i am including some films on Iranian subjects by Iranian directors working elsewhere

Reading:
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Jonathan Rosenbaum: Abbas Kiarostami
Hamid Dabashi: Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present and Future
Hamid Dabashi: Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema

Wikipedia: Cinema of Iran
Wikipedia: Abbas Kiarostami

Women without Men

~~

here’s a longer list of significant Iranian films, many not on this site (any suggestions welcome)

1931 The Brother’s Revenge (Moradi)

1932 Haji Aqa, Film Star (Oganians)
The Lor Girl (Irani)

1934 Ferdowsi (Sepanta)
Rapacious (Moradi)

1936 The Dark Eyes (Sepanta)

1948 The Tempest of Life (Daryabeigi, Kushun)

1951: The White Glove (Khatibi)

1955 Amir Arsalan the Famous (Yasami)

1957: Ya’qub Layth Saffari (Kasma’i)

1958 Downtown (Ghaffari)
The Valiant Vagabond (Mohseni)

1961 A Fire (Golestan)

1962: The House is Black (Farrokhzad)

1963: Night of the Hunchback (Ghaffari)

1965: Bride of the Sea (Arman)
Brick and Mirror (Golestan)
Croesus Treasure (Yasami)

1966 The House of God (Moghaddam)
Tehran is the Capital of Iran (Shirdel)

1967 The Night it Rained (Shirdel)
Seyavash in Persepolis (Rahnema)

1968 Ahu Khanom’s Husband (Mollapour)

1969 The Cow (Mehrjui)
Ghaisar/Kaiser (Kimiai)
Wind of Jinn (Taqhvai)

1970 Bread and Alley (Kiarostami)
Tranquillity in the Presence of Others (Taqrai)

1971: Dash Akol (Kimiai)
The Postman (Mehrjui)

1972: The Morning of the Fourth Day (Shirdel)
P like Pelican (Kimiavi)
Ragbar/Downpour (Beizai)
Spring (Ovanessian)

1973: Deadlock (Naderi)
Harmonica (Naderi)
The Mongols (Kimiavi)
A Simple Event (Saless)
Tranquillity in the Presence of Others (Taghvai)

1974: Prince Ehtejab (Farmanara)
The Secrets of the Jinn Infested Valley (Golestan)
The Traveller (Kiarostami)
Under the Skin of the Night (Goleh)

1975: Beehive (Gole)
The Deer (Kimiai)
Ghazal (Kimiai)
Still Life (Saless)

1976 Chess Game of the Wind (Aslani)
The Garden of Stones (Kimiavi)
My Uncle Napoleon (Taghvai)
The Raven (Beiza’i)

1977 Dead End (Sayyad)
The Report (Kiarostami)
The Sealed Soil (Nabili)

1978: The Cycle (Mehrjui)
Sooteh-Delan/Desiderium (Hatami)
Tall Shadows of the Wind (Farmanara)

1979 Ballad of Tara (Beiza’i)

1980: For Freedom (Torabi)

1982 The Death of Yazdgerd (Beiza’i)

1983 Lost Elegy (Sinai)

1984: The Runner (Naderi)

1985: Bashu the Little Stranger (Beiza’i)
Where is the Friend’s House? (Kiarostami)

1986 Spectre of the Scorpion (Ayyari)
The Tenants (Mehrjui)

1987 Captain Khorshid (Taghvai)

1988 Across the Fire (Ayyari)
The Cyclist (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)

1989: Close Up (Kiarostami)
Marriage of the Blessed (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)

1990: Hamoun (Mehrjui)
Homework (Kiarostami)
In the Alleys of Love (Sinai)

1991: The Last Act (Masihi)
Madar/Mother (Hatami)
Nargess (Bani-Etemad)
Once upon a Time, Cinema (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)

1992: And Life Goes On (Kiarostami)
From Karkheh to Rhine (Hatamikia)

Travellers (Beiza’i)

1993 Sara (Mehrjui)

1994: Through the Olive Trees (Kiarostami)

1995: A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
The White Balloon (Panahi)
Salaam Cinema (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)

1996: Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Leila (Mehrjui)

1997: Children of Heaven (Majidi)
Komiteh Mojazat (Ali Hatami)
Mirror (Panahi)
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami)

1998: The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
The Colour of Paradise (Majidi)
Divorce Iranian Style (Longinotto, Mir-Hosseini)
The Pear Tree (Mehrjui)
To Be or Not to Be (Ayari)
Turbulent (Neshat)

1999: A Time for Drunken Horses (Ghobadi)
The Glass Agency (Hatakami)
Willow and Wind (Talebi)
The Wind will Carry Us (Kiarostami)

2000: The Ballad of Huram (Mehraufat)
Blackboards (Samira Makhmalbaf)
The Child and the Soldier (Mir-Karimi)
The Circle (Panahi)
Daughters of the Sun (Shariar)
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini)
Djomeh (Yektapanah)
Shokaran/Hemlock (Afkhani)
Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine (Farmanara)
Under the Skin of the City (Bani-Etemad)

2001: Baran (Majidi)
The Hidden Half (Milani)
Kandahar (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Runaway (Longinotto, Mir-Hosseini)
Secret Ballot (Payami)

2002: Passage (Neshat)
Ten (Kiarostami)

2003: At Five in the Afternoon (Samira Makhmalbaf)
Crimson Gold (Panahi)
The Deep Breath (Shahbazi)
Five (Kiarostami)
Iranian Conserve (Shirvani)
Joy of Madness (H.Makhmalbaf)
Silence of the Sea (Mousaian)

2004 Beautiful City (Farhadi)
Bitter Dream (Amiryoussefi)
20 Fingers (Akbari)

2005: Turtles can Fly (Ghobadi)

2006: A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral (Salur)
Fireworks Wednesday (Farhadi)
Half Moon (Ghobadi)
It’s Winter (Pitts)
Men at Work (Haghighi)
Offside (Panahi)

2007: Buddha Collapsed out of Shame (H.Makhmalbaf)
Féminin/Masculin (Foroughi)
Gharib’s Story (Ayyari)
Persepolis (Satrapi)
Those Three (Nemati)

2008: As Simple as That (Mir-Karimi)
The Green Fire (Aslani)
Shirin (Kiarostami)
Three Women (Hekmat)
Two-Legged Horse (S.Makhmalbaf)

2009: About Elly (Farhadi)
Noone Knows about Persian Cats (Ghobadi)
The White Meadows (Rasoulof)
Women without Men (Neshat)

2010 Dog Sweat (Keshavarz)
The Hunter (Pitts)
Orion (Esmati)
Tinar (Minari)

2011 Goodbye (Rasoulof)
A Separation (Farhadi)
This is not a Film (Mirtahasebi, Panahi)

2012 The Gardener (M.Makhmalbaf)
The Sunset of Snail (Mohammadi)

2013 The Past (Farhadi)
The Iranian Film (El Idrissi)

2014 The President (M.Makhmalbaf)

2015 Taxi (Panahi)
The Girls’ House (Hosseini)

2016 The Salesman (Farhadi)
Under the Shadow (Anvari)

~

There have been numerous female directors, including some of the most prominent overall; Forough Farrokhzad, Rakshan Bani-Etemad, Samira and Hana Makhmalbaf, Marzieh Meshkini/Makhmalbaf, Sadaf Foroughi…. and also Marjane Satrapi, Shirin Neshat, Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa based abroad, whose Iranian-set films i’m including in this list.

Samira Makhmalbaf

~

The list below is in year order, and i’ve included a few major films i’ve yet to see.

My favourites:
Gabbeh, And Life Goes On, Brick and Mirror, Close Up, The White Balloon, Bashu the Little Stranger, Taxi, Fireworks Wednesday, The House is Black, The Mongols, Women without Men, Offside, The Wind Will Carry Us, The Day I Became a Woman, Turbulent, The Night It Rained

See also Arsaib’s excellent list Sohrab Shahid Saless about the Iranian director who went on to make radical films in West Germany but who has never received due attention either in that country or in general studies internationally of Iranian cinema.

Film Magazine Top 50 Iranian Films, 2009

Esfahan , beautiful ancient city

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