Thursday 15 May 2014

My Name is Negahdar Jamali and I Make Westerns

I'm proud to announce one of my favourite recent Iranian films is coming to London. My Name is Negahdar Jamali and I Make Westerns (2012) which is called by its young and talented filmmaker, Kamran Heydari, a "docuwestern" is going to be screened at the Open City Docs festival on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Tickets can be purchased here.

Negahdar hilariously recreates many familiar western settings while focusing on the life of a simple, poor worker/farmer who loves making westerns. Heidari’s film shows Negahdar trying to make a new western with local friends and reveals how in the process he loses his house and family and eventually, like a traditional cowboy, is left on his own to vanish into a horizon. The film, in its dry, hopeless feeling and its landscape of decadence, is much closer to Budd Boetticher than John Ford (whose legendary introductory line has inspired the title of this film). Negahdar is more or less a synthesis of both Boetticher and Randolph Scott. His minimalism and no-budget, semi- experimental films, like a crossover between the poorest of B westerns and Jack Smith, stands out as ultra primitive drafts of Boetticher’s westerns, and, on the other hand, his individualism puts him is the same category as Randolph Scott’s laconic avengers.

In Negahdar’s guileless, unsophisticated westerns (that we see within this film), as much as this bittersweet portrait of the man at work, a burning passion for cinema, unprecedented to anything else I’ve seen this year, keeps stunning me.

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