Tag Archives: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Nassereddin Shah, Actor-e Cinema AKA Once Upon a Time, Cinema (1992)

In this meditation on the history of cinema, contemporary scenes blend with clips from the silent era. A cinematographer (Mehdi Hashemi) consults with the shah of Iran (Ezzatollah Entezami) in an attempt to convince him that cinema is beautiful. Movies are censored, however: the shah bans them himself. But when the shah falls in love with a beautiful silent-film actress (Fatemah Motamed-Aria), he forfeits the throne and crosses into the realm of the movie screen to be with his love. Read More »

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Dastforoush AKA The Peddler (1987)

Consisting of three separate stories, the director explores “Man” as a theme: birth, life and death, to present a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic portrait of life at the bottom of the socio-economic pile.

Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum:
An impressive, often powerful Iranian feature (1987, 95 min.) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf–who started out as an antishah activist and fiction writer–composed of three sketches dealing with the poor in Tehran (1987). The first, freely adapted from an Alberto Moravia story, follows the appalling misadventures of an impoverished couple with four crippled children as they try to get their fifth and latest child adopted, in the hope that she won’t wind up crippled as well. The second follows the equally pathetic life of a scatterbrained, spastic Jerry Lewis type who devotes his life to caring for his aged and senile mother. Read More »

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – The President (2014)

The President is the story of a dictator of an imaginary country in the Caucasus, who is forced to escape following a coup d’état, and begins a journey to discover his country in the company of his five-year-old grandson. The two travel across the lands that the President once governed. Now, disguised as a street musician to avoid being recognized, the former dictator comes into contact with his people, which he comes to know from a different point of view. Read More »

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Bicycleran AKA The Cyclist (1989)

Summary
The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit promoter who sells tickets to watch Nasim ride a bicycle continuously for a week. The promoter brings in sick and aged spectators, haranguing them to find hope in Nasim’s strength. Aided by his son, who feeds him as he rides, Nasim grinds out the days and shivering nights. Local officials believe this may be a plot and Nasim may be a spy; they try to sabotage him as do those who bet he won’t finish the week. Will desperation alone get Nasim the money? Is any triumph an illusion? Read More »

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Honarpisheh AKA The Actor (1993)

An Iranian actor named Akbar is trying to become a serious actor instead of the clown everyone considers him to be. However financial problems force him to abandon his dream of being an artistic actor. He also has to deal with his family problems and his wife’s inability to become pregnant. Read More »