Wednesday 22 May 2024

Entezar (Amir Naderi, 1974)

Entezar [Waiting]

Playing at Il Cinema Ritrovato, June 25, 2024.

Entezar, Amir Naderi’s second film for Kanoon – the Iranian institution in charge of producing cultural goods, including films, for children and young adults – was a deft and calculated move away from the gritty street dramas and crime films of the early 1970s that made Naderi famous but also left him feel artistically unfulfilled.

This semi-autobiographical, dialogue-free meditation on puberty and desire was shot in the old city of Bushehr in southern Iran and edited by the Iranian New Wave documentarian Kamran Shirdel. The one-line story follows an orphaned boy who, every day, fetches ice for his elderly guardians. He falls for a girl, though he’s only seen her hands. Showing Naderi at the peak of his purely visual storytelling, Entezar was a break from the realism of his previous films by allowing illusory images to sit next to documentary moments, such as the mourning ritual for a Shia saint. Sizzling with a euphoric view of life and cinema through fixation on light and movement, and dazzling with high sensory sensitivity, what this masterpiece establishes in three-quarters of an hour, other films need hours to ramble on.

Ehsan Khoshbakht

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