Amir Naderi – Davandeh AKA The Runner (1984)

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Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in school. In school, he has conflict with other students. Finally there is a competition to see who can say the whole alphabet in one breath.

The Runner won the main prize at the famous Three Continents Festival at Nantes in 1985. It is often compared to Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, but is even more anguished and intense.

It was one of the first Iranian films of the Revolutionary period to attract widespread acclaim abroad, several years before filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf achieved international renown. Continue reading

Amir Naderi – Manhattan by Numbers (1993)

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In the course of a single day, George Murphy, a youngish out-of-work newspaper reporter, desperately crisscrosses Manhattan in a futile hunt for the $1,200 needed to pay the back rent on his apartment. George is about to be evicted, and his life is collapsing. His wife has left him, taking their child. He’s out of touch with former colleagues.

In his need to find the money, he searches for Tom, a long-lost friend who becomes as elusive as the grail. Many mutual friends have seen Tom recently, but either they have forgotten where, or Tom has departed when George arrives at the place. The search for Tom doesn’t narrow, it widens. It turns into a search for Tom’s apartment superintendent, for his other friends, for his wife. Continue reading

Amir Naderi – Cut (2011)

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Cut, by Iranian expatriate Amir Naderi, is a brilliantly offbeat homage to Japanese cinema,” blogs Kieron Corless for Sight & Sound. “It opens on a rootop in Tokyo, where keeper-of-the-flame filmmaker protagonist Shuji projects classic films to a group of friends. The rest of the time he spends haranguing the citizens of Tokyo through a megaphone about the destruction of ‘pure cinema’ by crass commercial fodder, and visiting the graves of Japanese masters Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kurosawa. The film then takes, via the death of his brother at the hands of the yakuza, what seems at first a strange but wonderful detour. Shuji must now clear, in just two weeks, a massive debt that his brother accumulated to finance Shuji’s films; the unexpected method he hits on to do so opens up frightening perspectives on the depths of his devotion to cinema, in the most masochist way imaginable. Continue reading

Amir Naderi – A, B, C… Manhattan (1997)

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Second film of the trilogy of stories about New York City by Iranian expatriate director Amir Naderi.
Plot summary from IMDB:
In a poor and decadent area of Manhattan, the musician Kate visits a room in a shared apartment with the aspirant photographer Colleen and the needy teenager Kacey, decided to start living an independent normal life of her own. The alcoholic Colleen has made a decision and will leave her beloved daughter Stella later with a family since she can not afford to support the child. The bisexual Kacey is distributing fliers trying to find her dog TJ that was stolen by her ex-boyfriend Johnny while missing her girlfriend that dumped her to get married. Kate has just broken an incestuous relationship with her brother Stevie, but he can not accept the separation. Continue reading