This extraordinary debut feature, about a 7-year-old’s first journey alone into the streets of Tehran, is a movie of audacious subtlety and simplicity, and a deserving Cannes prize-winner. It takes place in ‘real time’, the 84 minutes leading to New Year (March 21), as little Razieh (Aïda Mohammadkhani) goes off to purchase, with her mother’s last 500 toman, the ‘chubby’ gold-fish that has taken her fancy. Along the way, she encounters snake-charmers, irate shopkeepers, a country-born soldier, a young Afghan boy with a white balloon – a whole world hitherto ‘forbidden’. Scripted in collaboration with leading Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, this is a film of small incident, minute, telling observations, and enormous heart and intelligence. Tethering the movie to the child’s point of view (both literal and metaphorical), Panahi absorbs us so entirely into his heroine’s delicate, enquiring world, that the loss of her money and her separation from her brother create an atmosphere of suspense as gripping as that of any Hitchcock thriller. Moreover, suggestive intimations of the troubled adult world – the mother’s anxiety in the bazaar, the lonely ‘outsiders’ – combine to produce a feeling of almost metaphysical tension.
- Source : Time Out Film Guide 13 Continue reading
Tahmineh Milani’s “The Fifth Reaction”
An Iranian Woman Fighting for Her Rights
By Josef Schnelle
Five women sit in a restaurant in Tehran and talk about their husbands and their marriages. First, the conversations are quite amusing, but later on we notice that each woman faces serious problems below the thin surface of legal rights granted to women in Iran. Continue reading
Following his passionate involvement in the 1968 demonstrations (Maselli was one of the supporters of the protest at the 1969 Venice Biennial), he made two explicitly “political” films, Lettera aperta ad un giornale della sera (1970) and Il sospetto di Francesco Maselli (1975). In Lettera ad un giornale della sera, which prompted fierce discussion about the idea of “political commitment” amongst left-wing intellectuals, Maselli played one of the characters, thereby openly involving himself in the debate, together with Nanni Loy and other politically active colleagues and friends.
For this film, Maselli used a style which in many ways was similar to certain paradigms of “cinema-verité”: the film was shot in 16 mm with heavy use of the zoom, the hand-held camera and out-of-sync sound.
Maselli returned to a more relaxed cinematic language and a more concise structure with Il sospetto. Dubbed “one of the best political films of all time”, it was set in the year of the “turning-point” (1934), one of the most important moments in the evolution of the Communist party.
Gian Maria Volonté gave a splendid performance in the role of Emilio, the protagonist, a militant Communist who has emigrated to France, embroiled in an affair so fraught that it turns into a thriller. Continue reading
One of the most terrible ills of our time, people trafficking, follows the so-called Balkans Route for smuggling people into the West. Bosnian and Croatian papers often carry stories about groups of illegal immigrants discovered by the police, and just as frequent are the news of such imimigrants’ deaths. The Melon Route is inspired by the true story of twelve illegal immigrants who drowned in the river Sava on the border of Bosnia and Croatia. This event has been enlarged in the script, and seen through the eyes of a young Chinese girl, who loses her father in the accident. She enters into a tenuous relationship with an ex-Croatian Army soldier, a cured drug addict suffering from PTSD, who lost everything in the war. The linguistic and cultural barriers between the two protagonists give an added dimension to the film, shot through by the painful realization that it is hard to carry an inescapable burden: one’s place of birth. Continue reading
A story about young orphan girl who was rejected by her mother. Continue reading
Plot : In this WW II drama based on an autobiographical story by director Michel Drach, a Jewish boy and his family living in Nazi occupied France, attempt to escape the cruel invaders. Later the boy grows up to become a filmmaker obsessed with chronicling his childhood….
Awards : Best Actress for Marie-José Nat in Cannes Film Festival, 1974. Continue reading
IMDB user review
31 July 2007 | by (peacecreep) (United States)
Shot on 16mm in rural Utah in the early 90′s, Sure Fire is obscure American cinema at its finest. Josts style is very unique, containing many long scenes of dialogue, and beautiful photography of landscapes. This film contains some of the longest, most engaging monologues I’ve ever seen or heard, courtesy of the lead actor, Tom Blair. Blair is an amazingly strange actor that really gets into his roles. All I can really say is watch him work, it is fascinating.
The story was developed in accordance with the people Jost met in Utah and what was going on in their lives and the area at the time. The story concerns Tom Blair’s character, Wes, wanting to sell real estate to people moving to his town from California. It goes on to explore his relationship with the people close to him.
At times, the film feels like a weirder version of Twin Peaks, and that’s a very good thing. But it is no doubt a singular vision by a truly underground filmmaker. It is hard to find, but worth the hunt. -James Sinclair 7/07 Continue reading