Monday 5 September 2022

Focus on Filmfarsi in Paris (September 2022)

Cry of Midnight AKA Midnight Terror (1962)

A listing of the Iranian films which will be screened at L'Étrange Festival in Paris, including my documentary Filmfarsi (2019). All screenings at Forum des images, September 2022.

Filmfarsi (2019)

Sep 9, 17:45 (introduction by Ehsan) | Sep 18, 18:30

“As a long standing admirer of the New Iranian Cinema, I often wondered about its popular predecessor. Ehsan Khoshbakht has finally opened up this story.  His essayistic, meditative and cinephile analysis celebrates an unashamedly exploitative genre, steeped in sex and violence; Filmfarsi very usefully locates this crazy cinema within the Iranian popular and political culture of its time, and also allows it to find a place in the wider context of World Cinema.” — Laura Mulvey

Cry of Midnight AKA Midnight Terror (1962)

Sep 9, 21:45 (introduction by Ehsan) 

Both titles topping the Iranian box office in 1962 were directed by Iranian-Armenian Samuel Khachikian. The more famous of the two, Cry of Midnight, was in fact a remake of Charles Vidor's 1948 Gilda and portrayed one of the essential femme fatale figures of Iranian cinema, Parvin Ghaffari, appearing along with the popular star Fardin as the young man getting involved with a criminal gang but eventually finding his way back to the innocent girl he's in love with.

Almaas 33 (1966)

Sep 10, 17:00  (introduction by Ehsan) | Sep 17, 21:30

The Iranian New Wave apostle Dariush Mehrjui's debut was in fact a James Bond spoof, made three years before his seminal The Cow whose screening in Cannes and Venice marked an irreversible turning point in the history of modern Iranian cinema. Shot in widescreen and colour and featuring some fine location cinematography, this action/comedy features elements of pop art in its fine set design, the work of veteran Valiollah Khakdan.

Doroshkechi (1971)

Sep 12, 16:00 (introduction by Ehsan) 

Nosrat Karimi’s Doroshkechi about ‘marriage Iranian style’, which amounts to a Commedia all’iraniana, is a major rediscovery. It exemplifies a popular yet finely crafted type of Iranian cinema, access to which has been banned since the 1979 revolution.

More on the film here.

A Party in Hell (1956)

Sep 13, 21:30

A religious businessman spends a night with his sidekick in hell, meeting celebrities. The Iranian Hell is not devoid of cinema, movie stars and dance. The infernal party guests include Raj Kapoor, Tarzan, and Rock'n'Roll. And Americans, knowing that Hell runs on oil, are there to exploit it. Mad and joyous, this was one of the biggest hits of Iranian cinema in the 1950s and the first Iranian film shown at the Berlinale.

The full programme, in PDF, here.

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