Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Moonfleet, Gothic and Scope



فريتس لانگ، گوتيك و سینمااسكوپ

مونفليت تلخ‌ترين و احتمالاً گوتيك‌ترين فيلم "ماجرايي" سينماي كلاسيك آمريكاست. ژانري كه با طنز، ماجراهاي عاشقانه، رنگ‌هاي دلفريب و لباس‌هاي فاخر انبوهي از فيلم‌هاي محبوب و پرفروش را به سينما ارزاني داشته، در دستان لانگ به شرحي از تباهي دنيايي تاريك و غم‌زده تبديل مي‌شود. این‌که قهرمان اصلی فيلم يك پسربچه (جان وايتلي) است و ستارۀ بزرگ فيلم‌هاي شمشيرزني از خانوادۀ اسكاراموش، يعني استوارت گرينجر، کنار اوست کمکی به تلطیف نگاه لانگ نمی‌کند.
فيلم فضايي گرفته، مرده و حتي ترسناك دارد) که در آن از پایان خوش یا شور و عشق نشانی نیست. به جایش لانگ هرزگيِ شخصیت گرينجر در برخورد با زنان را نشان می‌دهد. مي‌گذارد. بیش‌تر نشانه‌‌های آشنای ژانر مثل گنج‌هاي مدفون، مخفيگاه‌هاي زيرزميني، مهماني‌هاي رقص و زنان حسود وجود دارند، اما به قول اندرو ساريس در مقایسه او بین مونفلیت و متروپولیس «هر دو فيلم در آن نگاه تلخ به دنيا مشتركند، در هردو انسان با تقديري محتوم دست به گريبان است، كشمكشي كه قطعاً به شكست انسان مي‌انجامد.»

The Night Before the Divorce (Robert Siodmak, 1942)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Richard Boleslawski

بولسلاوسکی (راست) پشت صحنۀ تئودورا وحشی می شود با شرکت آیرین دان (وسط)، 1936
ريچارد بولسلاوسكي
متولد چهارم  فوريه 1889 در دبووا گورای لهستان درگذشته در هفدهم ژانويه 1937 در هاليوود كاليفرنيا
فارغ‌التحصيل مدرسه افسري سواره نظام Tver. تحصيل در تئاتر هنري مسكو زير نظر استانيسلاوسكي. شركت در جنگ جهاني اول به عنوان افسر سواره‌نظام ارتش تزار روسيه (لهستان در آن زمان بخشي از امپراتوري روسيه محسوب مي‌شد). بازي در چند فيلم روسي پيش از انقلاب که یکی از آن‌ها نسخۀ صامت ایوان مخوف (1915) بود و کارگردانی یک فیلم در همان سال. ترك روسيه بعد از انقلاب اكتبر و سپس جنگ علیه شوروی در ارتش لهستان. کارگردانی چند فیلم در لهستان که یکی از آنها، معجزه در ويستولا (1921) دربارۀ پيروزي لهستاني‌ها در مقابل سرخ‌ها در نبرد رودخانه ويستولا زباني مستندگونه داشت.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I've Got Something to Say that Only You Children Would Believe — A Book Illustrated by Abbas Kiarostami


Abbas Kiarostami had a long, colourful career as an illustrator, graphic and film title sequence designer, and photographer before his career as a filmmaker got kick-started in the early 1970s.

His slow success and even a slower international recognition meant that this first part of his artistic life had vert little chance to be appreciated in time and not surprisingly, it was overlooked even by his ardent audience. One could argue, his eventual coming back to these fields (plus poetry and installation) in the 21th century was itself a classic case of Kiarostamian "return" as often seen in his films: returning to a home, to a place, to a landscape, in this case, to old passions.

A great portion of the achievements of these early years remain unavailable but here we have a wonderful example of his illustration work which he contributed to a children book, written by modernist poet and author Ahmad Reza Ahmadi.

One of Kiarostami's illustrations for the book

Monday, March 9, 2020

Abbas Kiarostami, a Cinema of Participation [Introduction to Harvard Film Archive Retrospective, May 2020]

Abbas Kiarostami circa late 60s, probably in his studio. On the wall (left) the poster for Masoud Kimiai's Come Stranger (1968), designed by Kiarostami.

Written for Harvard Film Archive's forthcoming retrospective dedicated to Kiarostami. More info here. — EK


Known for single-handedly putting Iran on the map of international cinema, Abbas Kiarostami’s filmmaking style was shaped by a variety of Persian arts, especially poetry. Reframing the world and the relationships between individuals through his creative involvement with actors—often amateurs, often children—and showing a keen eye for the beauty of landscapes, he produced philosophical works that reinvigorated the genres of documentary and narrative fiction.

Born in 1940, Kiarostami developed a love of painting at a young age, which led him to enroll in Tehran’s University of Fine Arts. During the 1960s he was involved in the film and television industry, both as a director of commercials and as a title designer for films. After the initiation of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (known as Kanoon), which as part of its artistic activities provided funding and facilities for the production of films for or about children, Kiarostami joined the organization and made The Bread and Alley, a short film about a boy’s fear of a stray dog.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

5 Nowruz Recommendations [1399]

آخرین مرحله


پنج پیشنهاد تماشای نوروز، نوشته شده برای ماهنامۀ فیلم. احسان خوش‌بخت

آتش‌ می‌آید (الیور لَکس، 2019) بیرون از سینمایی که نمایش کار تازۀ این فیلمساز فرانسوی در آن تازه تمام شده بود، دوستی که نقشی جدی در جنبش‌های محیط زیستی دارد این فیلم غریب و دشوار برای طبقه‌بندی را فیلمی محیط زیستی و یک زنگ خطر موقر و غیرمستقیم می‌دانست. اما برای من داستان رابطه پسری تازه از زندان آزاد شده با مادر سالخورده‌اش در کوهستان‌های پردرخت گالیشیای اسپانیا طنینی انجیلی داشت. شاید نظر هردویمان تا حدی وارد باشد؛ هرچه باشد هم دنیای امروزمان پر از آتش‌های مهار نشده است و هم داستان‌های انجیل. فیلم بهترین سکانس آتش تاریخ سینما را دارد.



Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The House Is Black — Which Version to Screen



The House Is Black (1962), the only film directed by the poet Forough Farrokhzad before her tragic death at the age of 37, is short like the life of its creator. Only twenty minutes long, this haunting piece of cinema and poetry has become a milestone not only for Iranian cinema but also for women filmmakers in general. However, many people viewers don't realise that almost every single circulating print of the film has been incomplete and not the featuring the version that Farrokhzad originally cut. Or I should say all the prints were missing elements until September 2019 when the film was restored by Cineteca di Bologna.

If you have seen the film in 35mm prints in one of the European or American films festivals, it's very likely that you have seen a print preserved either by Oberhausen Film Festival (where it received the main prize of the International Jury for the best documentary in 1964) or an analogue restoration of the film by CNC in France. Both prints, though fine in quality, miss verses of poetry and both have burnt-in French subtitles with a translation which is not exactly flawless.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Four Iranian New Wave Films That You Must See

The Cow (1970)

Written for the catalogue of the 2015's edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato. The two other essential titles which were restored and shown in Bologna a few years after this were Brick & Mirror and The House Is Black.


A SIMPLE EVENT: THE BIRTH OF IRANIAN NEW WAVE CINEMA


This programme offers one way of looking at the birth of modern cinema in Iran, a development now commonly referred to as the Iranian New Wave. The films presented here (The Night It Rained, Night of the Hunchback, The Cow, A Simple Event) make up roughly one quarter of the New Wave films and were selected according to accessibility and print quality above notions of artistic merit alone.

This particular narrative concerns four filmmakers, each of whom returned home to Iran following a period spent overseas, in order to revolutionise, even if subconsciously, their national cinema. In doing so they also rebelled against a society they found apathetic and divided over matters of justice.