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FILM: Milani gives free rein to her philosophical muse in "Superstar"

TEHRAN, Feb. 1 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian director Tahmineh Milani says that her philosophical and psychological interests inspired her latest film "Superstar".

Tahmineh Milani

"In some ways, the film is a sequel to my 1991 film 'The Legend of a Sigh', made at a time when some people wouldn't tolerate a 30-year-old filmmaker manifesting her philosophical concerns. As a result, the movie didn't do well," Milani explained during a review session held on Saturday for "Superstar" after its screening in the 27th Fajr International Film Festival, now underway in Tehran.

"At the age of 48, I have been provided with an opportunity to return to a previous path to make a film with an atmosphere that I desire," she added.

"I have always been interested in depicting philosophical and psychological issues in my films and I have responded to this desire by entering into the life of a popular man in 'Superstar'," Milani noted.

A free adaptation of Hermann Hesse's fairy tale "Augustus", the film tells the story of an egotistic movie star Kurosh Zand played by Shahab Hosseini, who gradually metamorphoses when he meets his daughter Raha played by Fattaneh Malek-Mohammadi.

Milani has been inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" for creating the character of Raha.

Malek-Mohammadi has been selected from over 1000 young women who applied for the role.

Milani running on the blade

Although Milani has obtained the Culture Ministry's screening license for "Superstar", the depiction of the stars' immorality in their real lives may raise objections from Iranian cineastes and actors.

They have done this before with "She Is Becoming a Star", Fereidun Jeirani's film, a behind the scenes picture of Iranian films, which portrays cineastes seducing women who wish to have a role in their films.

The criticism forced Jeirani to cut many sequences from his film as a result.

In "Superstar", women call from all over Iran to date Kurosh Zand. He even has a relationship with his director's wife.

Milani argued that the superstar could be a soccer player or a singer.

"My knowledge of an actor is deeper than that of a soccer player or a singer. Thus, I preferred to work in a familiar atmosphere," she said during the review session.

"Some parts of the film's story are true and are rooted in my own experiences in cinema. However, the film's plot is not related to the life of any movie star," Milani said.

Tahmineh Milani

Milani's "Cease-Fire", based on U.S. writer Lucia Capacchione's "Recovery of Your Inner Child", was a huge box office success in Iran and abroad in 2007.

After "Cease-Fire" she produced "Reckoning", a film on delinquent women, which has not been granted a screening license by the Culture Ministry due to its plot.

... Payvand News - 02/01/09 ... --

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