TEHRAN, Jan. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- "Iran is a country full of secrets and mysteries and that is why it has powerful cinema," French actor and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere said in Tehran on Tuesday. He made the remarks during a lecture he delivered during a session with Iranian cinematic figures held at Iran's House of Cinema on January 1.
The French cineaste praised the Iranian cinema industry, saying it is currently producing some of the world's best films.
Carriere said he is very happy to be able to visit Iran, adding, "When I am in the House of Cinema, it is as if I am in my own house and everything looks familiar to me."
He described himself as an author of books, screenplays, and plays who has always been interested in discovering new methods of writing.
Carriere has worked as the principal of a French film school, written books on films and screenwriting, and hosted a debate program on French television.
He said that he believes a screenwriter is not a novelist but rather a member of the crew, since cinema has its own language and a screenwriter must know the language.
Commenting on his screenplay adaptations of some of the world's major literary works, he stated, "Some of the literary works have the potential to be turned into a film, and in writing a screenplay I only think of the movie not the literary work, because if I keep referring back to the literary work, I will not be able to create a screenplay, rather, it will turn into an illustrated book."
Carriere also mentioned his joint project with Peter Brook entitled "The Conference of the Birds" and said that the play was written based on Attar's "Mantiq at-Tayr", adding, "The symbolic language of Attar compelled us to perform it in the form of a play, and it was very difficult to make the cinematic version."
He went on to say that a good play is not predictable, adding, "As Chekhov believes, one should never ask a character to define himself but should put him in a position in which he can define himself."
In conclusion, he said, "Every time I come to Iran I feel that I am in a country where the unseen is more important than what is seen. There are always many hidden things in a film which are as important as its other major elements. Many beautiful films have been made in Iran over the past 30 years, and I have nothing new to teach Iranian cinema."
House of Cinema Managing Director Reza Mirkarimi also gave a short speech at the session in which he said, "We share a common interest in cinema with Carriere. He is very attracted to the art and culture of the Middle East, especially Iran's, and has created works based on the works of Iran's great masters of literature and poetry. This can be an effective method of cooperation."
Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Alireza Raiisian, Mohammad Shirvani, Mojtaba Raei, and other Iranian cineastes also participated in the session.
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