Browsing: Film Reviews

Not only as a film critic, as someone that is under the spell of the silver screen, I love movies with fresh and new ideas. I rather watch an unperfect film that has a flame inside than a perfect cold movie. That is why watching Soroush Sehat’s Dance With Me! I loved it and enjoyed it, even if it has some flows and could have been even a better film. But it is one of the rare films from new wave of the Iranian films that does not have Asghar Farhadi or Abbas Kia Rostami syndrome. It stands well on…

Bahaman Maghsoudlou an Iranian/American filmmaker, has dedicated his life in recording valuable information about Iran’s contemporary art and culture. Bahman’s films are not only introducing Iranian artists and art to the world, but overtime it will turn into a treasure of information for future generations. I have always admired Bahaman Maghsoudlou for his tireless and continues work, but I had always been waiting for him to prove himself as a filmmaker with certain point of view. And all this has happened with his latest documentary feature, Bahram Beyzaie, A Mosaic Of Metaphors.  Bahram Beyzaie,…. is a very powerful, artistic and…

It’s nearly the end of the year—reflecting on your favorite cultural moments of the year, whether in literary, musical, or on-screen formats, is de rigueur. Movies are a big one, but casting your mind all the way back can be a tricky exercise—did that film come out this year? Really? If you need a reminder, here are the films that excited, moved, and tickled us in 2019. https://youtu.be/MnoBx999MZM Everybody Knows Hollywood once led the world in glamorous melodramas, but these days the splashiest ones come from abroad. Take Everybody Knows, a platinum-level soap opera by Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi. Penélope…

A wandering camera follows a performance crew as they prepare for an upcoming show. This documentary style stops once we get to see an audition taking place, where a few old people are asked to play victims of an incident. They are asked to cry and scream and beg for their lives. The film immediately sets up its tone: It is going to be a dark comedy. I Don’t Care If We Go Down in History As Barbarians (Radu Jude, 2018) is about Mariana, who wants to direct a public performance recreating the 1941 Odessa massacre, or the Odessa Holocaust,…

Cold Sweat is one of those films that is right out of newspaper pages, or in this age, right out of social networks pages. A female futsal player of the Iranian national team (Afrooz) is banned by her husband from traveling abroad to play in a tournament’s final game. The husband is a famous TV show host. This story took place in the real world so recently that is still in the Iranians’ memory with all details and this is the film’s Achilles’ heel. The film does not have much more to offer to its viewers than what they already…

This not a film critique, this is a love letter to a film. I just finished watching Caramel on MUBI and, ladies and gentlemen, I am totally shocked. How on earth could I have misjudged this film? In 2008, I watched five minutes of Caramel and I decided it does not deserve my royal attention. Last night after watching it to the end, I was ashamed of myself for ignoring such a masterpiece. As punishment I sentenced myself to watch three episodes of the Game of Thrones! I asked myself, what happened to Nadine of Caramel? Of course, I liked…

Kamal Tabrizi’s Sly (Marmouz) is an entertaining and clever political satire, an uncommon genre from Iranian cinema. The only other film that stands out as a political comedy in history of the Iranian cinema after the revolution, is a box office hit called Lizard (Marmoolak), also directed by Kamal Tabrizi. I could never bring myself to like the Lizard, it lacked creativity in visual storytelling, but Sly is quite different and much more advanced in use of language of cinema. Sly is about a young man, Ghodrat, that runs a group of Lumpen hardliners that trash public gatherings such as…

Right out of the theater and both hyped up and disturbed by this important film. A great work of investigative journalism, Cold Case Hammarskjiöld is a must-see for everyone to see the dark history of the genocide of Africans by the American and British intelligence services. Shown as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival, the film starts with a black-and-white animation showing a plane being blown up in the sky. Soon, we find out the plane belonged to Dag Hammarskjiöld, the second secretary general of the United Nations. Mads Brügger adopts a combination of animation, photos, and live-action to make…

When Charlotte (Marguerite Bouchard) gets dumped by her longtime boyfriend after he reveals that he’s gay, her immediate reaction is to feel both aggrieved and weirdly undaunted. Venting to her besties Mégane (Romane Denis) and Aube (Rose Adam), she alternately curses her ex and angrily insists that this cannot and will not stop her from pursuing a relationship with him. Though both of these extremes are temporary, they say a lot about Charlotte, who doesn’t do things halfway. “You need to find ways to have fun,” one of her friends tells her, and she dedicates herself to that, too, quickly…

The entire story takes place in less than a day, and in one location, in a middle-aged woman’s house, where she has been living there alone. All her attachments to life are 4 picture frames of the men of her life. One from her husband, a man who once supported Mossadegh (the democratic prime minister of Iran in 1950s that his government was overturned by a CIA coup in 1953), but after many years he goes to Hajj while drinking alcohol privately (forbidden for Moslems). Also there are two picture frames of her sons, one from his son that had…

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