2007 marks the Archive’s 17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, now in its home at the Billy Wilder Theater in the heart of Westwood’s “Tehrangles.” This year’s offerings feature a greater number of films than ever before, including 13 films from Iran and the diaspora. Featured in the series this year are works by established filmmakers whose films we have showcased in the past (Bahman Farmanara and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad) and works by emerging directors. Also included are five new documentaries that illuminate Iranian life, art, and popular culture. Some of this year’s themes include male bonding and friendship, emigration, censorship, music and, in our opening night film, mouth-watering Persian food (When Fish Fall In Love). In addition, we are delighted to welcome several guests who will be present to discuss their work in person. This year’s generous selection of recent narrative and documentary films and videos attests to the enduring quality and diversity of Iranian filmmaking.
MAINLINE (KHOON BAZI) Sunday April 29 2007, 7:00PM
(2006, Iran) Directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mohsen Abdolvahab
Bride-to-be Sara (Kosari, Bani-Etemad’s real-life daughter) relapses into heroin abuse while her fiancé is studying in Canada. Sara’s mother (Farahi), desperate to clean up her daughter before the wedding, loads her into a car and heads for a rehabilitation center near the Caspian Sea.
Screenwriter: R. Bani-Etemad, Farid Mostafavi, M. Abdolvahab, Naghmeh Samini. Cast: Bita Farahi, Baran Kosari, Masoud Rayegan. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 78 min.
A LITTLE KISS (YEK BOUS-E KOUCHOULOU) Friday May 4 2007, 7:30PM
(2005, Iran) Directed by Bahman Farmanara
Farmanara’s richly symbolic drama follows writers and friends, Sa’adi (Kianian) who has recently returned to Iran after 30 years spent in Europe, and Shebli, who stayed behind, eventually enjoying success as his homeland’s most acclaimed novelist.
Screenwriter: Bahman Farmanara. Cast: Reza Kianian, Jamshid Mashayekhi. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 100 min.
A LITTLE BIT HIGHER (KAMI BALATAR) (2005, Iran) Friday May 4 2007, 7:30PM
Directed by Mehdi Jafari.
A deceptively prosaic encounter between two crane operators – one an elderly former teacher, the other a romantically troubled younger man.
Screenwriter: Mahin Abbas-Zadeh, M. Jafari. Cast: Ahmad Reza Asadi, Javad Emami. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 12 min.
IRAN: A CINEMATOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION (IRAN: UNE RÉVOLUTION CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUE) – Saturday May 5 2007, 7:30PM
(2006, France) Directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun
This engaging and informative overview of Iranian cinema includes fascinating interviews with renowned Iranian film directors. Interspersed with archival footage from the Shah’s reign through the tumultuous time before and during the revolution, and with an incredible array of rare film clips, Homayoun’s film is an eye-opening portrait of Iran through its cinema of the past 70 years.
Screenwriter: Nicolas Bertrand, N. T. Homayoun. Cast: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Amir Naderi, Dariush Mehrjui, Feredoun Goleh, Bahman Ghobadi, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Farokh Ghafari. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. Video, 98 min.
TO BE A STAR (SETAREH MI-SHVAD) – Friday May 11 2007, 7:30PM
(2006, Iran) Directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani
When an aspiring actress wrangles a small role for her out-of-work father (Entezami, in a tour-de-force performance), the man finds only abuse and ultimately heartbreak on-set. Condemned by Iran’s censors, who banned the film and destroyed the negative, this print is the only surviving uncut version of the film.
Screenwriter: Fereydoun Jeyrani. Cast: Ezatollah Entezami, Andisheh Fouadvand. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 98 min.
For more information please go to: http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/