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Aficionados of Iranian Cinema: Help Needed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StevenA, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    As part of a series of video nights I'm running with some friends, I'm planning an evening of Iranian films.
    The selection process is difficult because Iranian cinema has been so rich and varied in recent years.
    I feel I would be remiss if I did not show any Kiarostami, but which film to choose? I want to pick a film which is a good introduction to his work, as the other people coming to the video night have not seen any of his films before. I've seen only THE TASTE OF CHERRY, which I found fascinating, but I'm not sure that is the best introductory film to show.
    CLOSE-UP sounds like a very interesting film about film. Would that be a better choice?
    As for a second film to show, I am considering either a Mohsen Makmalbaf film (not sure which one, though, maybe even a Samira Makhmalbaf film?) or a Jafar Panahi film, maybe THE WHITE BALLOON, which I haven't seen, but which sounds like a more accessible contrast to the Kiarostami for those who may find the latter intimidating.
    I'm trying to focus on the more distinctive and innovative Iranian films rather than the more mainstream films, so that probably rules out Majid Majidi's work (CHILDREN OF HEAVEN et. al.), though I know his films have a lot of fans.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! The films don't have to be on DVD, as many of the most acclaimed Iranian films are not yet on the format. In fact I'd love to show Marziyeh Meshkini's THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN, which I loved, but it does not appear to be on VHS in the US, let alone DVD! [​IMG]
     
  2. Pascal A

    Pascal A Second Unit

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    Of the Abbas Kiarostami films on DVD, The Wind Will Carry Us would be my first choice, followed by Close-up, before A Taste of Cherry, especially as an introductory film.
    The screenplay of The White Balloon is written by Kiarostami, and has some of his signature style (particularly lingering shots), so stylistically, it's not exactly a contrast to Kiarostami. For Makhmalbaf films on VHS, I'd recommend The Cyclist (Facets release) first, which I consider to be his best film, followed by A Moment of Innocence (I believe this is out as a rental), or The Silence (New Yorker release).
    By the way, Panahi's The Circle is a bit more heavy-handed examination of women in society than The Day I Became a Woman, but it is available on DVD. Incidentally, Meshkini may be the name attached to The Day I Became a Woman, but it is still bears Makhmalbaf's imprint (Meshkini is his wife), as does Samira Makhmalbaf's The Apple.
     
  3. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    Thanks Pascal, very helpful information and recommendations!

    Anybody else have any suggestions?
     
  4. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    The only Iranian movie I've seen is Baran. I think that's from the same director as Children of Heaven, which you want to avoid.

    ~T
     

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