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Iranian Cinema Anonymous 09/01/2020 (Tue) 15:17:57 No.366
[JW05 ~ 05/10/2020] Iranian cinema warrants its own thread as the style of them and their directors are distinct enough to stand out and level up with Europeans. The 5 movies here are classics or well-known to start with. The Death of Yazdgerd recalls the kangaroo court upon a family of accusing the refuging last shah of the Sassanian dynasty. Where Is the Friend's Home details a child trying to give his friend his homework he took on accident lest his friend be expelled. Atom Heart Mother is some paranormal mystery thriller during the recession I didn't have subtitles for it. Ballad of Tara is about a women giving away her grandfather's possessions to her village as she can't keep them but finds no one who will accept his shamshir. The Night Bus is about an Iranian prisoner convoy of Arab POWs in 1983 during the Iran-Iraq War.
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I love Iranian cinema. I hope I can revive this thread with some discussion about this very interesting national cinema. I think in it, we see some of the better examples of post-modern filmmaking. My favourite Iranian film is The Taste of Cherry, which won the Palme D'Or in 1997. It is a fantastic film on its on, but I think the ending elevates it. I'm talking about how after being immersed in the story of Badii's life for the length of the film, Kiarostami chooses to break that immersion by showing us documentary-style clips of them filming some scenes. It blends fiction with reality in a perfect way to emphasise the closeness of the two. Kiarostami believes that works of fiction can be just as reflective and honest as documentaries. By using this documentary style at the end, Kiarostami is showing that the events you saw are just as equally a documentary, as a work of fiction, and insisting upon its meaning The blending of fiction and reality is recurring in the work of Kiarostami. We can look to his film Close Up, which is part documentary, part fictional drama. It uses those once embroiled in a criminal case against each other, as actors to tell the story. He tells a real-life documentary story using the real-life people who were involved, as actors. All the while he mixes in court footage of the proceedings. It's a bit hard to explain, but it is a very compelling story that gets you questioning the line between documentary, fiction, and reality. Another example in Kiarostami's films is at the beginning of "Through the Olive Trees", where some actors introduce themselves (pic rel). Although the intersection of reality and fiction is something that we see not only in Kiarostami, but in other Iranian directors too (who were no doubt influenced by him - he is generally considered the best Iranian director). A notable example of this can be found in the work of Jafar Panahi. Taxi Tehran follows Panahi as he drives a taxi around Tehran. We see a myriad of interactions, some real, some scripted/acted, all however, using people who aren't actors. Another good film of his is "This is Not a Film", which he made to protest the Iranian government who banned him from making films (and I think maybe also leaving his property). It was smuggled from Iran to Cannes on a USB hidden inside a cake. Iranian films approach some really high-concept difficult questions about art in a really grounded way. Perhaps due to not often using professional actors (Kiarostami for one thought you could get better performances out of untrained people). Their post-modern approach is really refreshing compared to some western post-modern films that I find can be indulgent, leaning too heavily into 'breaking the modernist rules', leaving behind something shallow. Though I suppose that's part of the point - it doesn't have to be meaningful or even have meaning. I could talk more, but I think I'll leave it there for now. Please post your favourite Iranian films or suggestions as a reply to this post.
>>1255 The Taste of Cherry was the first iranian film i saw, mainly because of the whole Palme d'Or thing. I remember suffering greatly seeing it because it was a very slow burner, all the emotions are subdued and especially considering the protagonist who was completely numb to the world surrounding him. I was very young so definitely not used to slow movement but i think i would feel unnerved by its speed again if i watched it today even when i really enjoyed the concept and dialogue itself, especially the "ironic" ending. >Spoiler I don't remember that, maybe it's the outtakes and bonus clips plastered at the end? or some sort of director's cut because i recall the runtime being exclusive to the plot, quite short too i think it was under 90 minutes but felt like 3 hours. Now that you mention it i recall remembering some clip on how the director/cinematographer was all compacted into the passenger's seat trying not to appear in the shot but doing so anyways, and the protag's actor taking the piss making rough corners to bother him. Was that in the film itself? i don't think i would've searched for that on Youtube, especially back then in 2008. Some beautiful shots at times have to say, especially when he visits the mine's (?) guard in the small watchtower.
>>1256 Here's the ending and final scene in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DQ8GPzMIPs It is very much intended to be in the film, and part of the film/your experience with the film. Some really didn't appreciate the ending (from memory, Ebert despised it) but I think it perfectly encapsulates a recurring theme in Kiarostami's films in a much simpler way. That watchtower scene is very beautiful and simple. It is an austere film, but I wouldn't quite say minimalist. That's something I like about it - the film isn't indulgent, but is still rich in characterisation, shot composition, and meaning.
Dariush Mehrjui is an interesting Iranian director who hasn't been mentioned yet. Mehrjui studied film and philosophy UCLA before returning to Tehran to begin his career. He kickstarted the Iranian New Wave with Gaav AKA The Cow (1969), a film smuggled out of the country to critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival. It examines a poor villager's relationship with his prized possession, the one thing that gives him joy: his cow. While the film isn't quite perfect, I was hooked by the layered story of poverty, psychosis and mysticism told with striking black and white cinematography.
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>>381 hue
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Does anyone have the Ballad of Tara?
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>>1282 I'm so confused but seeing that you replied with anime picture I don't know if I want to know anymore >>1297 I would pay all of the money in the world to have a remastered collection of every Beyzai production
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Just imagine watching Death of Yazdgerd in HD...
>>1299 Many interesting Iranian films are only available in poor quality, if at all. I've been wanting to watch Tall Shadows of the Wind, an allegorical horror where a small community erects scarecrows for superstitious protection but eventually revolts against the same scarecrows for holding too much power over them. Color is important to the climax of the story, with all the villagers outfitted in red, but the washed-out transfer cannot do it justice.
>>1297 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPwTsLhZkHI I found it on YouTube with no subtitles.
>>1302 Here are the subtitles change filetype from pdf to srt
>>1300 WHY What a shame... Do they not keep negatives/master reels?!
>>1306 I don't know if Tall Shadows was suppressed in any way. I know Khomeini's government was nonplussed by the subversive aspects of the film even though it was produced under the Shah. There must be original reels because I've seen better clips of it in a documentary. For some reason there's not much effort to restore and release it. Maybe you can journey to Persia and find a copy. On an interesting genetic aside, the director Bahman Farmanara has blue eyes and looks almost white.
>>1307 I have a friend in Iran. I will make this happen.
>>1307 >the director Bahman Farmanara has blue eyes and looks almost white. Do you really not know of the ancient Aryan, Berber, and Levantine genetics that still exist and persist in the Islamic world?
>>1310 They really don't.
>>1310 t.sandnigger
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>>1312 He's not lying tho, before the mongol invasions a really good chunk of the population there was caucasian, you know that mountain range is not far away from the middle east and the ancient greeks/macedonians/romans had some settlements in most of the south coast. Some still prevailed in the rural parts after the shenanigans from Mohammad and the Ilkhanate but due to recent war mongering in the last years many of the girls have been abducted en masse and used as brides for sale or merely slaves, the men just stick theirs into random arab girls but it's undeniable that there were there once upon a time. The Berbers are another story, they are nomadic, usually just wander in North Africa and they have been wholly homogenized but sometimes some remnants of the old Carthage can be seen. Islam certainly hasn't helped most of these people, hence the strong tribalism persistent to this day.
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I watched سیب (the Apple) last night which is a docudrama like Close Up about two girls locked in their house for their whole lives so they end becoming feral children and the movie details or reenacts their first time outside playing while the father is forced to confront the choices he made by the welfare officer lest she takes the girls from him. >>1311 >>1312 Why did you open your mouths on a topic you knew nothing of?
>>1318 I was agreeing with the post... You seem confused
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>>1307 >On an interesting genetic aside, the director Bahman Farmanara has blue eyes and looks almost white. That's not so weird, for example pic related is the speaker of the assembly, another is Leila Hatami, if she came to me speaking french i'd take her for a french woman no problem. I wonder what's the Iranian view on the matter.
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Has Mohammad Rasoulof made anything good? I thought Manuscripts Don't Burn was mediocre so I haven't watched anything else, but White Meadows looks interesting.
Heard from an Iranian friend that the gov is looking into a nationwide internet shut down...
>>1460 Why?
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I signed up for a history class at my college and it turns out it's just a semester of watching Iranian film and writing reviews, it's going to be an easy fucking A. So far I've watched Not Without My Daughter and Children of Heaven, this week I'm watching Color of Paradise.
Shatranj-e baad AKA Chess of the WInd (1976) is a real treasure—banned and lost in 1979, rediscovered in an antique shop in 2015, restored by the WCF in 2020. The new print, supervised by the director and cinematographer, probably looks better than it did originally. The film is now screening in select theaters but it was uploaded to KG months ago. With echoes of Clouzot's Diabolique this slow-burning tale of body terror, paranoia and deceit finds a family, their creditors—even their servants—maneuvering to claim the wealth and property of the deceased lady of the house. The star of the show, however, is the elegantly furnished estate itself. I'm not sure if Persian audiences see rooms full of European fine art suggestive of sophistication or colonialism, but it makes for marvelous aesthetics throughout the film. https://rutracker.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6041211
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...and I spent a bunch of time creating this cinegrid which the site won't accept for some reason https://alogs.theguntretort.com/.media/beb96cd33ed3ab1020ec69478affd9c3affd476fa6ff412dcca43de199399460.jpg
>>2106 >for some reason Site gets rude when big resolution images come in, i can't seem to pinpoint when.
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>>2106 >>>/meta/15220 So it's a thumbnailer problem. I'd have to delete the the broken image before uploading it again. Testing an image with 1% more compression.
>>2102 I watched this film upon your suggestion, and found the camerawork to be amazing. The shot composition and mise en scene were something else. Not to mention the camera movement! The long take at the end where the crippled lady drags herself down the stairs I found to be particularly impactful. I also loved that despite their supposed grandiosity and superiority due to their wealth the wealthy cripple and the one who married her mother both die next to each other on the dirty bottom floor of the very mansion mansion they fought over. Literally below everyone since they were underground, but figuratively representing their abysmal morals. In the end, it is your morals are what define your standing in life relative to others. I am not sure about the meaning of the final shot. Do you think it could be to show the insignificance of their quarrels? I would love to hear your thoughts, because frankly I thought it could just have easily ended on the shot before.
>>2116 That's a great point about the two family members. The quarrels were fruitless because despite everyone's scheming and moral degradation, there was virtually no one left to claim the inheritance. The last shot is shocking because it's completely at odds with the rest of the film so it forces you to reprocess what you just saw. I've seen films that end with a zoom out high into the sky, but in this case the audience is removed even farther. We have a conflict in time that I'm not sure was hinted earlier, although I didn't follow every line of the washwomen scenes. My best explanation is that separating the film from reality emphasizes the story as a fable/myth. I see other people saying the shot makes you reassess possible perspectives of interpretation for the film, which is true, but to leave it there is answering one question with another question.
>>2117 >My best explanation is that separating the film from reality emphasizes the story as a fable/myth. See I thought almost the opposite (that is if I am understanding what you said correctly). I thought that it could be to emphasise how close this story is to reality, that it takes place, or could be taking place, in any one of these habitations. I guess that does emphasise the allegorical elements of it, but also that it is real (or at least could be). Something to consider is also the expensive mansions vs the cheap city housing. I still need to think more about this, but I'm sure good analysis could be made from this starting point.
>>2118 Right, I was trying to say that the original story transcends its original setting. It is separate from the material reality because it did not just happen, But it endures on some mythic level since the film finds it within the present.
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>>1300 I had a feeling this would happen soon. There's a DVD for Tall Shadows of the Wind. Rip is uploaded to PTP, SC, KG.
>>2360 Could you please upload it here?
>>2360 >>2390 I'd also be interested in checking this out in a half decent quality.
>>372 >>378 Seems like the dump missed the first few posts? Anyhow, thanks to photo restore anon, you'll be happy to hear it's been upped to KG a while back now, rejoice!
>>2608 It's hopeful that a quality upgrade exists, even if it's being withheld from circulation. Someone needs to secure the rights and properly release it.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been tossing film directors in jail lately. Mohammad Rasoulof (Manuscripts Don't Burn) and Mostafa Aleahmad (Poosteh) were arrested for inciting unrest over the protest of a collapsed building. When Jafar Panahi (Offside) went to ask about their situation, he was also arrested to serve an outstanding six year prison sentence. https://deadline.com/2022/07/cannes-mohammad-rasoulof-mostafa-aleahmad-jafar-panahi-1235061384/
>>2612 Ironically enough islamists are not good purveyors of culture despite gatekeeping lots of it (mostly made as offerings for the religion) a real shame because quite a lot of arabs/central asians/persians have inherited the mental prowess of the ancient people of those lands. >>2608 Never got to make the better version of that pic, the PSD file must be around somewhere so i will get to it when i find it ...but first i will probably write down in the resources thread that small writing course i got Gonna check that KG loot, been missing a lot of pieces from the region's cinema.
>>1299 Still today, one of my biggest dreams is for an outstandingly HD copy of Yazdgerd to be found... I would very much die happily knowing of it, imagine it in a quality similar to the recently found reels of Shatranj-e Baad AKA Chess Game of the Wind. Btw, excuse my ignorance but it's very interesting to see so many of the films discussed here have Wind in their titles, I would bet it's related to zoroaster/Ahura Mazda? Dialogue with the Wind, Tall Shadows of the Wind, Chess Game of the Wind... And they're all incredible
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>>2617 >it's very interesting to see so many of the films discussed here have Wind in their titles, Yes I like how the word is used in those titles -- evocative of a mystical, unseen force Several more examples. There's definitely something to it. The Wind Will Carry Us Walking with the Wind (book of poetry) The Lovers Wind Resting Against the Wind Willow and Wind Letters in the Wind Dialogue with the Wind Shouting at the Wind The Wind Carpet The Wind of Jinn - in this case "wind" is part of religious ritual in the south https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934790/
>>2619 > in this case "wind" is part of religious ritual in the south Upon further review, the religious ritual counteracts the "wind of jinn" which supposedly scatters people around the world via "many emigrations". I don't know how this odd phenomenon developed, but perhaps it all makes sense in the documentary.
>>1299 here's an upscale cause I couldn't find a better res out there
>>2360 I finally watched Tall Shadows of the Wind. It's a real gut punch, even though I already knew the basic concept of the film. The villagers aren't as superstitious as plot summaries make it sound, though. They're mostly reasonable until they're confronted by terrifying circumstances.
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