With A Simple Event Sohrab Shahid-Saless emerged on the Iranian film scene as a filmmaker with a distinctive style. Adopting an almost documentary style, Shahid-Saless records uneventful moments in the lives of ordinary people. He has said, “A Simple Event has no plot. It is only a report on the daily life of a boy”. Working with a cast of non-professional local players, Shahid-Saless constructed his film with realistic images that almost corresponded with the temporal flow of rural life. The film is so simple and unadorned that it creates the illusion of having been made with no prepared overall design.
For all its lyrical charm, A Simple Event must be considered as a prelude or a preparation for Shahid-Saless’s acclaimed film Still Life which was awarded the Silver Bear for best direction and the critics’ prize at the 24th Berlin International Film Festival in 1974. Continue reading
Talented Iranian director Sohrab Shahid Saless has succeeded in taking on an unusual project — the life and times of a German literary figure — and making it interesting. Christian Dietrich Grabbes lived a very short life in the first half of the 19th century and is primarily known for his satire, skepticism, basurd theater and the fact that he presaged the Postmodern movement in literature. Hannibal and Don Juan and Faust are two of his better-known works. In this docudrama, his Comedy, Satire, Irony and Deeper Meaning is featured partly because it gives a drubbing to the icons of German thought that had a stranglehold on the creative process. One memorable moment in this three-and-a-half-hour story is when the alcoholic writer is caught in the throes of delirium and comes around to see his own mother as a figure of death. The irony is that an Iranian director could capture the spirit and age of a German writer so well. —allmovie guide Continue reading
Plot in German
“Der in Westdeutschland lebende, iranische Filmemacher Saless (“Utopia”) schildert in seinem Drama eine deutsche Jugend am Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs
Frankfurt 1944: In der Befürchtung, als Halbjude denunziert worden zu sein, muß Hans, der uneheliche Sohn einer Arbeiterin, kurz vor Kriegsende die Stadt verlassen. Als er nach der Kapitulation zurückkehrt, entdeckt er, daß seine Freundin Nora die Geliebte eines GIs geworden ist und seine Mutter immer noch von anonymen Briefen bedroht wird. Der aus politischen Gründen aus seinem Heimatland emigrierte iranische Regisseur Sohrab S. Saless zeichnet in langen, ruhigen Einstellungen das Bild eines trostlosen, zerstörten Deutschland am Ende des Krieges. Er erhielt im letzten Jahr den Großen Preis der Frankfurter Autorenstiftung.” Continue reading
Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide wrote:
Historian, author, and movie critic Lotte H. Eisner is the subject of this documentary. She recalls her early childhood in Germany and her association with such legendary directors as F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang. Leaving Germany for Paris in 1933, her anticipation of WW II saw her relocating to the South of France. Eisner gives her considerable and insightful opinions on classic German Expressionist Films, as several of her admirers drop by during the interview conducted by director Sohrab Shadid-Saless. Continue reading
In a slow-moving sequence of events, a brutal misogynist who runs a bordello with an iron hand has a few problems of his own: head pains of unknown origins, and some threatening associates. His punishment of one of the older women for not bringing in many customers sets off a counterattack that may stop his reign of terror — but is no threat to the exploitative business of prostitution itself.
~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Continue reading
Between 1991 and 1992 he [Saless] directed Rosen für Afrika, a Psychodrama about how injustice is turned into oblivion about an opportunity worker and a woman from the civil house of a marriage for 30 years . Soon the relationship fails due to the aggressive, also destructive tendencies of the man who enters a deep personal crisis. When the marriage coined/shaped of force and Psychoterror goes finally into the breaks, the man looks for comfort in the alcohol and becomes criminal. It was released on German television in 1991. Continue reading
“A husband and wife have separated and while in that semi-marital state, the wife begins an affair with a Turkish architect. In the meantime, the once revolutionary-minded husband now prefers his more comfortable lifestyle in his villa with his children and he is the one who writes letters to his wife seeking a reconciliation, but she herself is thrown into a turmoil because choosing between her estranged husband and the Turkish architect is very difficult, if not impossible. —allmovie guide” Continue reading