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04/19/16

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema: Apr 30-­May 22

Source: UCLA Film & Television Archive


UCLA CELEBRATION OF IRANIAN CINEMA
Saturday, April 30 - Sunday, May 22

For more than two decades, UCLA Film & Television Archive has showcased the ever-unfolding film tradition of Iran for Southern California audiences.  This adventure has been a journey of constant discovery, as the Archive has tracked Iran’s national cinema, its evolving modes of storytelling and the perspectives and achievements of its leading talents.  In so doing we have created, in partnership with audiences and generous sponsors, a bona-fide saga of Iranian film history here in Los Angeles, as audiences have come face to face with outstanding Iranian cinematic achievements, and at times with filmmakers themselves, stimulating opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding through art where often there were few other avenues.  This year we celebrate a new field of surprising developments and diverse talents, who have fused social concerns and private fascinations with expert filmmaking.  As in recent years it is anticipated that some filmmakers will appear in person to discuss their work.  Please check www.cinema.ucla.edu for updates on in person guests.


Program generously funded by Farhang Foundation

Special thanks to:  Mark Amin, Alireza Ardekani, Ahmad Gramian-Farhang Foundation; Tom Vick-Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution; Barbara Scharres-Gene Siskel Film Center; Marian Luntz-Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Ladan Taheri, Parham Vafaee-National Film Archive of Iran; Hamid Naficy.
 
IN PERSON:  Hamid Naficy, author (5/13); Roya Teimoorian (5/20).

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Saturday, April 30
7:30 p.m.
U.S. Premiere!
TWO  (Do)
Iran, 2015
Producer: Parviz Parastui.  Director: Soheila Golestani.  Based on the short story The Maid’s Shoes by Bernard Malamud.  Screenwriter: Soheilia Golestani.  Cinematographer: Peyman Shadmanfar.  Editor: Hayedeh Safiari.  Composer: Ali Ghamsari.  With: Mahtab Nasirpour, Parviz Parastui, Sogol Khaligh.
In this fascinating character study by filmmaker Soheila Golestani, a woman is hired to clean house for a man who is closing an apartment he inherited.  Their strangely evolving relationship confounds expectations, as each character’s complexities first set up and then dismantle the possibility of connection.  Golestani, star of Today (2014), featured in last year’s edition of this program, coaxes bravura performances from her distinguished leads in this, her directorial debut.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 86 min.

*Online sales for this screening have ended; standby line only.  See info below re: the encore screening on May 1.

 

Sunday, May 1
3 p.m.    •note later screening this same day

TWO  (Do)
Iran, 2015

Producer: Parviz Parastui.  Director: Soheila Golestani.  Based on the short story The Maid’s Shoes by Bernard Malamud.  Screenwriter: Soheila Golestani.  Cinematographer: Peyman Shadmanfar.  Editor: Hayedeh Safiari.  Composer: Ali Ghamsari.  With: Mahtab Nasirpour, Parviz Parastui, Sogol Khaligh.
In this fascinating character study by filmmaker Soheila Golestani, a woman is hired to clean house for a man who is closing an apartment he inherited.  Their strangely evolving relationship confounds expectations, as each character’s complexities first set up and then dismantle the possibility of connection. Golestani, star of Today (2014), featured in last year’s edition of this program, coaxes bravura performances from her distinguished leads in this, her directorial debut.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 86 min.

 

Sunday, May 1
7 p.m.    •note earlier screening this same day

West Coast Premiere!
THE SALE  (Haraj)
Iran, 2014 
Director: Hossein Shahabi.  Screenwriter: Hossein Shahabi.  Cinematographer: Hooman Salmasi.  Editor: Hossein Eivazi.  With: Fariba Khademi, Nasim Abadi, Mahsa Abiz, Maryam Sarmadi, Esmat Rezapour.
When professional artist Forough learns that her husband has gone to prison over bad business dealings, it is also revealed that he has kept a second, “temporary” wife, who now demands her legal dowry, which Forough must raise in the absence of her husband.  Selling her art and furnishings, she enters into a complicated set of negotiations with her rival, demonstrating the tortuous straits that modern Iranian women often navigate.
Blu-ray, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 86 min.

DOLLS DON’T KNOW
Iran, 2015
Producer: Nava Rezvani.  Director: Nava Rezvani.  Screenwriter: Nava Rezvani.  Cinematographer: Reza Teimoori.  Editor: Nava Rezvani.
Filmmaker Nava Rezvani profiles various women who were convinced or compelled to marry when very young, introduced to every kind of wifely duty, then consigned to their fate without a voice.  Candid narration, and dispiriting depictions of weddings and subsequent home life lend dimension and dignity to this widely experienced social phenomenon.
Blu-ray, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 50 min.

IRANIAN NINJA
Iran, 2014
Producer: Marjan Riahi.  Director: Marjan Riahi.  Cinematographer: Mahnaz Mohammadi. Editor: Esmaeel Monsef.
In contemporary Iran, some 3,000 women seek empowerment through mastery of the martial arts discipline of ninjutsu.  In this documentary, we witness one group’s rigorous training and learn of the commitment they and their families make in encouraging them to defend themselves, and to excel as ninjas (not only as wives and mothers) in a hostile world. 
Blu-ray, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 31 min.

 

Monday, May 2
7:30 p.m.
TIME TO LOVE
Iran, 2014
Producer: Alireza Raissian.  Director: Alireza Raissian.  Screenwriter: R. Mohaghegh, Alireza Raissian.  Cinematographer: A. Barazandeh.  Editor: S. Safiyari.  Composer: S. Oraki.  With: Leila Hatami, Shahab Hosseini, Farhad Aslani, Bita Farahi, Parviz Porhosseini.
In filmmaker Alireza Raissian’s timely drama, iconic actress Leila Hatami portrays Bita, a Tehran-based attorney specializing in the defense of women in divorce proceedings, who often emboldens as well as defends her typically oppressed clients.  No favorite among ex-husbands, she suddenly finds herself entangled in an intrigue involving her own marriage, where the personal and the professional converge with calamitous results.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 99 min.

 

Friday, May 6
7:30 p.m.
North American Premiere!
THE MAN WHO BECAME A HORSE  (Mardi ke Asb Shod)
Iran, 2015
Producer: Ali Akbar Saghafi.  Director: Amir Hossein Saghafi.  Screenwriter: Amir
Hossein Sagafi.  Based on the short story Grief by Anton Chekhov.  Cinematographer: Amin Jafari.  Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer.  Composer: Karen Homayounfar.  With: Mahmoud Nazar-Alian, Levon Haftvan, Mazdak Mirabedini, Melissa Zakeri, Mahtab Saeedi.
This luminous feature introduces an elderly laborer and his adult daughter who live in spartan circumstances in a seaside community of day laborers.  When circumstances change the community’s fortunes, the daughter sees the chance-or necessity-of breaking away, setting up a cataclysmic, intergenerational conflict.  Spellbindingly beautiful, the film hearkens to the Iranian New Wave in its obliquely powerful and poetic treatment of societal schisms and inexorable change.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 113 min.

 

Saturday, May 7
7:30 p.m.
NAHID
Iran, 2015
Producer: Bijan Emkanian.  Director: Ida Panahandeh.  Screenwriter: Ida Panahandeh, Arsalan Amiri.  Cinematographer: Morteza Gheidi.  Editor: Arsalan Amiri.  Composer: Hajid Pousti.  With: Sareh Bayat, Pezhman Bazeghi, Navid Mohammad Zadeh.
Nahid, a divorced mother with a young son, could find happiness with honorable Masoud, who offers her marriage and stability, maintaining a clandestine “temporary” marriage with her in the meantime.  Avoiding a next step, Nahid runs herself ragged simply holding her compromised existence together.  Her reasons, and their impact on her, make up the basis of filmmaker Ida Panahandeh’s superb second feature, rich with emotion and contemporary relevance.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 105 min.

Preceded by:
JUDGEMENT DAY
2015
Producer: Akbar Lashgari.  Director: Karim Mohammad Amini.  Screenwriter: Karim Amini.  Editor: Hamed Hosseini.  Based on a story by Kiumars Poorahmad.  Cinematographer: Masoud Salami.  With: Tina Pakravan.
In this alarming short film, an unsuspecting woman becomes a charged symbol of transgression.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 7 min.

 

Friday, May 13
7:30 p.m.
New Digital Restoration by the National Film Archive of Iran.
THE COW  (Gaav)
Iran, 1969
Director: Dariush Mehrjui.  Screenwriter: Gholam-Hossein Saeedi, Dariush Mehrjui.  Based on the play and novel by Gholam-Hossein Saeedi.  Cinematographer: Fereydon Ghovanlou.  Editor: Dariush Mehrjui.  With: Ezat-Ollah Entezami, Ali Nasirian, Jafar Vali, Jamshid Mashayekhi, Esmat Safavi.
Filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui’s timeless classic, the progenitor of the Iranian New Wave, is a parable of human frailty.  When a rural farmer’s beloved cow dies, his neighbors dare not tell him the truth, fearing that the news will destroy him, but madness descends all the same.  Rich with philosophical suggestion, the film has haunted Iranian cinema ever since, setting a tonal and metaphoric standard to which many have returned. 
DCP, b/w, in Persian with English subtitles, 104 min.

IN PERSON:  author Hamid Naficy will sign copies of A Social History of Iranian Cinema beginning at 6:30 p.m.

 

Monday, May 16
7:30 p.m.
West Coast Premiere!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9  (Chabarshanbeh, 19 Ordibchesht)
Iran, 2015
Producer: Mohammad Hussein Latifi, Ali Jalilvand.  Director: Vahid Jalilvand. Screenwriter: Ali Zarnegar, Vahid Jalilvand, Hussain Mahkam.  Cinematographer: Morteza Poursamadi.  Editor: Vahid Jalilvand, Sepehr Vakili.  Composer: Karen Homayounfar.  With: Niki Karimi, Amir Aghaee, Vahid Jalilvand, Shahrokh Frotanian, Saeed Dakh.
A young woman is abandoned by all when her husband is unfairly imprisoned over an innocent accident, owing “blood money” to a vengeful plaintiff.  Seeing an advertisement that summons aspirants for help with their problems, she joins a throng of people who convene to appeal to one mysterious, beneficent man, who in turn finds that the price of generosity is greater than he reckoned.  
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 101 min.

 

Friday, May 20
7:30 p.m.
U.S. Premiere!
HADJI SHA
Iran, 2014
Producer: Zamani Esamati.  Director: Zamani Esmati.  Screenwriter: Zamani Esmati.  Cinematographer: Zamani Esmati.  Editor: Zamani Esmati.  With: Roya Teimoorian, Afsaneh Chehreh Azad, Leila Zareah, Sahar Abdollahi, Behdad Royan, Hooman Ashkboos.
This arresting, emotional drama presents an insular, extended family of women who
occupy an urban household, with no male family member in their lives.  One woman has become their protector and arbiter of their disputes and problems, and presents herself in the male guise of “Hadji Sha.”  Learning that harm has befallen a vulnerable, young niece, Hadji Sha must mediate dangers and injustices, marshaling her fearsome wrath for the greater good. 
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 81 min.

IN PERSON:  Roya Teimoorian.

 

Saturday, May 21
7:30 p.m.
West Coast Premiere!
RISK OF ACID RAIN  (Ehtemal-s Baran-e Asidi)
Iran, 2015
Producer: Samira Baradari, Rohollah Baradari.  Director: Behtash Sanaeeha.  Screenwriter: Maryam Moghadam, Behtash Sanaeeha.  Cinematographer: Mohammadreza Jahanpanah.  Editor: Behtash Sanaeeha.  Composer: Henrik Nagy.  With: Shams Langeroodi, Maryam Moghadam, Pouriya Rahimi Sam, Arsolan Abdolahi, Eesa Hosseini.
A lonely, elderly office worker takes rooms in a cheap hotel while seeking a long-lost friend in a town far from his own.  There he crosses paths with a restless young woman seeking a pretend “uncle” to get her out of scrapes.  Aided by the amiable hotelier, the two new friends find solace and needed joy in their unexpected friendship.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 102 min.

Preceded by:
FRIED FISH  (Mahiye sorkh shodeh)
2014
Director: Leila Khalilzadeh.  Editor: Leila Khalilzadeh. Cast: Davoud Namayandeh (narrator).
This lovely, animated short film posits the sacrifices that are worthwhile in order to access one’s spiritual sustenance.
Blu-ray, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 11 min.

 

Sunday, May 22
7 p.m.
West Coast Premiere!
AVALANCHE  (Bahman)
Iran, 2015
Producer: Javad Norouzbeigi.  Director: Morteza Farshbaf.  Screenwriter: Morteza Farshbaf, Nasim Marashi.  Cinematographer: Hooman Behmanesh.  Editor: Pouya Parsamagham.  Composer: Hamed Sabet.  With: Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, Ahmad Hamed, Farideh Smaeeli, Maryam Shirazi, Amir Rashedi.
A hospital nurse is hired to care for an absent doctor’s frail mother on 10 consecutive night shifts during a blizzard.  Exhausted after each shift, she experiences insomnia at home, poring over household clues as to her alienation within her family, and daily becoming more ghostlike, in what may be an emotional death or rebirth.  Fatemeh Motamed-Arya portrays the weary nurse with utter precision, as director Morteza Farshbaf masterfully constructs an atmosphere of charged unfamiliarity in only his second feature.
DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles, 88 min.

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VENUE 

UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood Village, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90024 (corner of Wilshire & Westwood Blvds., courtyard level of the Hammer Museum).

TICKETS  

Advance tickets are available online for $10.

Tickets are also available at the Billy Wilder Theater box office beginning one hour before showtime: $9, general admission; FREE to all UCLA students with valid ID; $8, other students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID.

PARKING

At the Billy Wilder Theater for a $3 on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.  Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire Blvd. Cash only.
Visitor parking is also available in UCLA Parking Lot 36 at 11020 Kinross Ave.  Credit cards or exact bills only.  Monday-Friday after 4:30 p.m.: 2 hours $4 / all night $5. Saturday & Sunday all day: 2 hours $4 / all night $5.
Rates may change in the near future; please check the website for updates.

INFO | PROGRAM UPDATES

cinema.ucla.edu | 310-206-FILM (-3456)
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Twitter:  UCLAFTVArchive

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