Tag Archives: Persian

Rafi Pitts – Zemestan AKA It’s Winter (2006)

“When things are really crap, they will generally get much worse…”

Mokhtar, unable to find work, leaves his wife and child to find employment in more distant lands. After seeing him onto a train we pick up with another man, Marhab, at the end of his journey. The dislocation is such that it takes a while to realise that Marhab has arrived in the same area that Mokhtar has just left. Marhab is also struggling to find and keep work, but still manages to get married in a short space of time – to Mokhtar’s wife (whose former husband is believed dead). Read More »

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 »

Bahram Beizai – Ragbar AKA Downpour (1972)

A major figure in both pre- and post-revolutionary Iranian cinema, Bahram Beyza’i burst onto the scene with Downpour, his remarkable debut feature that won a Special Jury Prize at the First Tehran International Film Festival. Mr. Hekmati (Parviz Fanizadeh) arrives in the poor southern part of Tehran to take up a teaching post. When his students misbehave, he expels one of them. The next day, the boy’s older sister Atefeh comes to the school to plead her brother’s case. Smitten by her beauty, Mr. Hekmati is nevertheless reluctant to approach her, especially after he learns that her hand has already been promised to the local butcher. Beyza’i creates a powerful sense of a closed community still ruled by tradition, where custom always trumps individual desire. Thanks to its restoration by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, this key Iranian classic can now be discovered by new generations of filmgoers.
— Film at Lincoln Centre Read More »

Mohammad Rasoulof – Sheytan vojud nadarad (2020)

Working in defiance of a lifelong ban on filmmaking, dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof delivers a piercing drama about a subject he knows well: the costs of living under a repressive, brutal government. Winner of the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, There Is No Evil is a film of four chapters; each tells a different story related to the death penalty in contemporary Iran. Read More »

Mohammad Reza Aslani – Shatranj-e baad AKA The Chess Game of the WInd (1976)

SHATRANJ-E BAAD
Film Notes

Shatranj-e Baad might be one of the most emblematic films in the history of Iranian cinema, even though its visibility was limited to a disastrous preview at Tehran International Film Festival in 1976. Due to an artistic conflict between Aslani and the festival curator, the projection was sabotaged, its reels were disrupted and projector malfunctioned. The critics walked out during the screening, as did the jury who pulled the film out of the competition. Instantly deemed elitist, the film was refused by all the distributors. Discouraged, the producer didn’t bother sending the film to the international festivals. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Mossafer AKA The traveler (1974) (HD)

Quote:
A grade-school-age boy, neglected by his parents, lies, cheats, and steals to accumulate enough money to afford a bus ride to a large city and a ticket to see his favorite soccer team play. Read More »

Mehrdad Oskouei – Hamishe Baraye Azadi Dir Ast AKA It’s Always Late For Freedom (2006)

The portrait of three teenage boys being held in a youth corrections centre in Teheran, It’s Always Late for Freedom depicts the distress of a generation sacrificed on the altar of Iran’s profound social problems. Hardcore drugs, poverty, violence… these young men, hardly more than boys, seem more like victims than perpetrators. Entirely immersed in the everyday life of the prison, filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (The Other Side of Burka) won the young men’s trust, and they hold nothing back of their hurts, frustrations, hopes and confusion. The camera records their childish schemes, conversations with family, and the routine of prison life with intimate close-ups of faces and bodies that reveal their secret pain. A gripping story of childhood laid bare. Read More »