Saturday, 14 May 2016

Golestan Film Studio: A Retrospective (Il Cinema Ritrovato, 2016)

Ebrahim Golestan

Il Cinema Ritrovato, the cinephile's heaven and the festival of film history, held annually in the city of Bologna, Italy, will be hosting the first major European retrospective of Ebrahim Golestan, the godfather of Iranian modern cinema of the 1960s and 1970s.

I'm responsible for this programme, and in fact quite proud of it. Paying a proper tribute to a visionary director like Golestan feels drastically different (and also technically far more challenging) than putting together a retrospective of an established, canonical figure. Nonetheless, this programme, I hope, could reveal the origins of some of the most amdired trends and styles in Iranian cinema of the past 50 years, especially when it comes to the use of symbolism and poetry.

The Ebrahim Golestan retrospective is actually the celebration of his short-lived film studio, Studio Golestan. This also means that a superb print of The House Is Black (produced, co-written/narrated by Golestan) will be screened as a part of the retrospective.

In the opening credits of his films, Golestan usually calls his studio the Golestan Film Workshop. Frame enlargment from Brick and Mirror.

The festival runs from June 25 to July 2, 2016. The festival's website gives you everything you need to know about how to get there. For more information, click here.

Curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht

Time to celebrate the first Iranian independent film studio, which during its 10-year run managed to produce some of the most remarkable entries (both documentary and fiction) in the history of Iranian cinema including Brick and Mirror (1964) and The House Is Black (1962), the latter the first Iranian documentary directed by a woman. One man is responsible for this enterprise: the filmmaker, producer, writer and translator Ebrahim Golestan; a figure of special importance to Iranian culture, without whom the notion of an Iranian art cinema would have been an unlikely prospect. This is the first major European retrospective dedicated to films directed or produced by Ebrahim Golestan, a cinema of poetry, symbolism and profound involvement with history. Golestan’s films are, like the title of one of his documentaries, “the crown jewels” of Iranian cinema.

Films in the retrospective:

Iran, 1961 Regia: Ebrahim Golestan

KHANEH SIAH AST (The House Is Black)
Iran, 1962 Regia: Forough Farrokhzad

TAPPEHA-YE MARLIK (The Hills of Marlik)
Iran, 1964 Regia: Ebrahim Golestan

GANJINEHA-YE GOHAR (The Crown Jewels of Iran)
Iran, 1965 Regia: Ebrahim Golestan.

KHESHT O AYENEH (Brick and Mirror)
Iran, 1963-64 Regia: Ebrahim Golestan

ASRAR-E GANJ-E DARE-YE JENNI (The Secrets of the Treasure of the Jinn Valley)
Iran, 1974 Regia: Ebrahim Golestan

Il Cinema Ritrovato, 2016, pre-program poster

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