One of Iran's best-known actresses, Niki Karimi, makes her feature
film directorial debut with ONE NIGHT, the daring story of a young
woman's nocturnal journey through the streets of Tehran. Our series
commences with one of the strongest Iranian films of recent years: IRON ISLAND,
a stunning depiction of an impoverished community living aboard a rusting ship
off the coast of Iran. This array of new work by both emerging and
established directors highlights the depth and breadth of filmmaking talent in
*All films are in Persian with English subtitles.
Friday, January 13
Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof
Mohammad Rasoulof's extraordinary new film
focuses on a community of impoverished families living aboard an abandoned
ship anchored off the Persian Gulf. A harsh disciplinarian, the gruff
and resourceful Captain Nemat (played by veteran actor Ali Nasirian) rules the
community with an iron fist. Meanwhile his young assistant Ahmad (Hossein
Farzi-Zadeh from last year's BEAUTIFUL CITY) falls for a young girl whose
brutish father keeps a watchful eye on her. This richly textured film
combines powerful images, vibrant characters and masterful performances to
create a remarkable film, only the second feature from this talented new
Producers: M. Rasoulof, Abolhasan Davoodi. Screenwriter: M.
Rasoulof. Cinematographer: Reza Jalali. Editor: Bahram Dehghan. With: Ali
Nasirian, Hossein Farzi-Zadeh, Neda Pakadaman. 35mm, 90 min.
Saturday, January 14
WE ARE ALL FINE
(2005) Directed by Bijan
Director Mirbagheri seems to
have taken a cue from American independents in this tale of a dysfunctional
middle-class family whose private animosities explode when a video camera comes
into their midst. Oldest son Jamshid has been abroad for six years,
leaving his parents, siblings, wife and young daughter adrift. When
Jamshid sends word that he would like his family to prepare a video tape for
him, their initial attempts at cheer soon devolve into bitter arguments and
secret confessions. Dexterous cutting between video and 35mm as well as a
powerful ensemble cast fuel this moving exploration of the consequences of
emigration for the people left behind.
Producer: Mohammed Reza Takhtkeshian.
Screenwriter: Mojgan Farah Avar Moghadam. Cinematographer: Mehdi Jafari. Editor:
Saeed Shahsavari. With: Ahoo Kheradmand, Mohsen Ghazimorad, Parviz Shahinkhou,
Leila Zare. 35mm, 91 min.
WAKE UP, AREZOO!
(Bidar Show, Arezoo!)
(2005) Directed by Kianoush Ayyari
In 2003, a 6.6 earthquake struck the ancient Iranian city of Bam,
killing over 40,000 people. Eleven days after the first shock, filmmaker
Ayari went to the site to shoot this eloquent and harrowing fictional feature
about the utter grief and confusion that attend a major disaster. His
spare, uninflected film follows the stories of two people who struggle to react
to the incomprehensible: a woman who has lost her entire village under the
rubble and a man who flees from the collapsed prison to search for his family.
With only two professional actors, and a large supporting cast of victims
and rescue workers, WAKE UP, AREZOO! brings the unfathomable dimensions of
natural catastrophe to an immediate, shocking human
Producer/Screenwriter/Editor: K. Ayari. Cinematographer: Mansoor
Azar-Gol. With: Behnaz Jafari, Mehran Rajabi, Mohammad-Hossein Akbari, Mahdi
Jafari. 35mm, 90 min.
Friday, January 27
PORTRAIT OF A LADY FAR AWAY
(Sima-Ye Zani Dar Doordast)
(2005) Directed by Ali Mosaffa
Haunting, romantic and enigmatic, PORTRAIT OF A LADY FAR AWAY
eschews the naturalism of much recent Iranian cinema for a dreamlike poetry that
recalls Sadegh Hedayat's classic novel THE BLIND OWL. When a divorced,
jaded architect (Homayoun Ershadi of A TASTE OF CHERRY) discovers a suicidal
message on his answering machine from an unknown woman, the intoxicating sound
of her voice leads him on an all-night odyssey through Tehran with another
stranger, a beautiful actress who claims to be the first woman's friend.
Richly burnished cinematography reveals an unfamiliar Tehran of
midnight performance art gatherings, deserted theaters, and fortune telling
parlors, while the architect begins to suspect that a third woman from his
past may or may not be orchestrating the whole pursuit.
Bagherina, Ruhollah Baradari. Screenwriters: A. Mosaffa, Safi Yazdanian.
Cinematographer: Homayoun Payvar. Editor: Hayadeh Safiyari. With: Leila Hatami,
Homayoun Ershadi, Zahra Hatami, Zhila Sohrabi. 35mm, 98 min.
(2002) Directed by Saeed
Director Saeed Nouri pays tribute to the early films of Jean-Luc
Godard in this wry study of the complicated relationship between a young man and
Producer/Screenwriter: S. Nouri. Cinematography: A. Jafari. Editor: F.
Allkhani. With: S. Farshadjou, K. Anvari. Video, 12 min.
Friday, February 3
(2005) Directed by Niki
In this first feature film by actress Niki Karimi (THE HIDDEN HALF), a
teenaged girl's travels through Tehran after dark expose a crisis in Iranian
sexual mores, as well as offering a tantalizing glimpse of the city's night
people. When Negar's mother invites her married lover to spend the
night, her daughter willfully sets out on foot at an hour where her only
companions will be prostitutes, runaways, and soldiers. Eventually, Negar
accepts three rides from strange men, and the interior of each car provides the
stage for an unsettling chamber drama. Karimi's arresting photography at
the edge of the visible aptly complements this story of a girl whose chances for
freedom are entwined with danger.
Producers: Hassan Rajabali Bana, Jahan
Kosari. Screenwriters: N. Karimi, Kamboziar Partovi, Cinematographer: Houssein
Jafarian. Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer. With: Hanieh Tavassoli, Saeed Ebrahimifar,
Nader Torkaman, Abdolreza Fakhar. 35mm, 78 min.
Sunday, February 5
(2005) Directed by Niki
See Friday, February 3 above.
Wednesday, February 8
PIECE OF BREAD
(Yek Teke Nan)
(2005) Directed by Kamal Tabrizi
Kamal Tabrizi came out of years of television work to make a name for
himself with his feature film debut, THE LIZARD (2003), which was both a scandal
and a success with its satirical comedy about an escaped convict disguised as a
mullah. Here Tabrizi takes a more pensive approach to a similar subject:
the roles of religion and spirituality (and the differences between the two) in
contemporary Iran. A PIECE OF BREAD is an ensemble piece about the
reaction to an apparent miracle in a small town. Sent to investigate
are a respected local mullah, a rigid army officer and a na´ve young recruit.
Several story lines intertwine in the course of a journey to the site of the
reputed miracle. As it progresses, the film quietly but steadily develops
a touching sense of wonder at the beauty of the everyday.
Onsori. Screenwriter: Mohammad-Reza Gohari. Cinematographer: Hossein Jafarian.
Editor: Hossein Zandbaf. With: Esmaeel Khalaj, Ahmad Aghaloo, Hooman Seyedi,
Payam Dehkordi. 35mm, 100 min.
CLOSE, SO FAR
(Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik)
(2005) Directed by
Masoud Rayegani (from last year's SILENCE OF THE SEA) plays a
wealthy Tehran doctor who lives a life of luxury, surrounded by the latest in
high-tech personal communication devices. This self-satisfied existence
is rocked when he learns that his teenaged son has a brain tumor.
CLOSE, SO FAR follows the doctor's journey as he takes to the road to catch up
with his son, off on a New Year's holiday. This moving film is part male
melodrama, part road movie, developing into a fable of renewal and
transformation. Like A PIECE OF BREAD (with which it shares a
screenwriter), SO CLOSE, SO FAR can be read as either religious parable or
existential allegory. The film is Iran's submission
for the 2005 Foreign-Language Film Oscar.
Producer: R. Mirkarimi.
Screenwriters: R. Mirkarimi, Mohammad-Reza Gohari. Cinematographer: Hamid
Khozolee Abyane. Editor: Bahram Denghani. With: Masoud Rayegani, Afshin Hashemi.
35mm, 121 min.
programs screen at the James Bridges Theater in Melnitz Hall, located on
the northeast corner of the UCLA Westwood campus, near the intersection of
Sunset Boulevard and Hilgard Avenue.
Advance tickets for films screening at UCLA are available for $8 at
Tickets are also available at the theater one
hour before showtime: $7 general admission; $5 students, seniors and UCLA Alumni
Association members with ID.
There is free parking on Loring Ave. after 6pm on weekdays and all day on
Parking is also available adjacent to the James Bridges
Theater in Lot 3 for $8. (The Archive has made the following arrangement
for its patrons: Archive patrons can purchase a parking permit for $5 to be used
for future visits to the James Bridges Theater for a screening. This
represents a $3 savings over the usual price of $8. Further info:
www.cinema.ucla.edu / 310.206.8013.)
INFO: www.cinema.ucla.edu / 310.206.FILM.
... Payvand News - 12/14/05 ... --