UCLA Film and Television Archive & The Bijan Amin and Soraya Amin Foundation present
17th ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF IRANIAN CINEMA
Saturday, April 7 – Friday, May 11
2007 marks the Archive’s 17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, now in its new home at the Billy Wilder Theater in the heart of Westwood’s “Tehrangeles.” 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, 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.
*All films are in Persian with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.*IN PERSON: Maryam Kashani, Mamak Khadem
Saturday, April 7
7 p.m. / 9:30 p.m.
WHEN FISH FALL IN LOVE
(MAHIHA ASHEGH MISHAVAND)
dir: Ali Rafiee. scr: A. Rafiee. cast: Reza Kianian, Roya Nonahali, Golshifteh Farahani.
Political prisoner Aziz (Kianian) returns to his seaside home after two decades behind bars only to find his former flame, Atieh (Nonahali), running a restaurant on the estate. To protect the family business, Atieh's daughter, Touka (Farahani), conspires to woo Aziz’s heart with the promise of rekindled romance, and his stomach with mouth-watering dishes.
35mm, 96 min.
NOTE: Film will screen twice this evening. Separate admission required for each screening.
Saturday, April 14
MEN AT WORK
(KARGARAN MASHGHOULE KARAND)
dir/scr: Mani Haghighi. cast: Attila Pesyani, Mahmoud Kalari, Ahmad Hamed.
Based on a story by Abbas Kiarostami, director Mani Haghighi’s film, which equally invites and defies allegory, pits four middle-aged men against a seemingly immobile rock. While the boulder remains stubbornly upright, the characters’ quest to topple it drives them further and further into comic madness, and what begins as macho tomfoolery transforms into emasculating obsession.
HD, 77 min.
MEN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER
(MARDHA HAMDIGAR RA BEHTAR MIFAHMAND)
dir/scr: Marjan Alizadeh. cast: Alireza Amirhajebi, Maryam Yavari.
When his wife doesn’t return home one evening, an upset husband phones his friend for solace and advice.
HDcam, 8 min.
Wednesday, April 25
BEST IN THE WEST
dir/scr: Maryam Kashani. with: Mansour Kashani, Nasser Kashani, Farhad Ahmadi, Sohrab Ahmadi, Abbas Barzgar, Rahman Farsi, Saeed Ghazi, Mohammad Talai.
Director Kashani’s first-person documentary focuses on her father and his close-knit group of male friends who maintained their tight bonds after emigrating from Iran to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s and ’70s. Their personal stories are interwoven with a political and industrial history of Iran in the last century and the struggle to control the country’s most coveted natural resource: oil.
Digibeta, 71 min.
*IN PERSON: Maryam Kashani
NOSE, IRANIAN STYLE
(DAMAGH BE SABKE IRANI)
dir: Mehrdad Oskouei. scr: M. Oskouei, Mandan Karimi, Alireza Bahrami.
With a humorous touch, documentary filmmaker Oskouei shines a light on Iran’s booming nose job market, where a startling 60,000 to 70,000 men and women go under the knife each year.
Beta-SP, 52 min.
Friday, April 27
SOUNDS OF SILENCE
dir: Amir Hamz, Mark Lazarz. With Shadi Vatanparast, Shahram Sharbar, Babak Akhoondy.
Hamz and Lazarz’s documentary illustrates a slice of Tehran’s diverse underground music scene and the performers who must contend with the government’s cultural gatekeepers, the Ershad, who hold the authority to ban performances and CDs. Some musicians have taken foreign sounds and made them uniquely Iranian–including a rock band inspired by a 14th century Persian poet, and a rapper who quotes from the Koran.
Video, 97 min.
dir: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. With Kiana Kiaras, Darya Dadvar, Mamak Khadem, Pari Maleki.
Nearly three decades after Iran’s Islamic revolution, female singers are still forbidden to perform solo. Mirtahmasb’s short documentary follows several women struggling to make their voices heard within the limits of the law.
Video, 40 min.
*IN PERSON: Mamak Khadem
Sunday, April 29
dir: Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Mohsen Abdolvahab. scr: R. Bani-Etemad, Farid Mostafavi, M. Abdolvahab, Naghmeh Samini. cast: Bita Farahi, Baran Kosari, Masoud Rayegan.
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.
35mm, 78 min.
Friday, May 4
A LITTLE KISS
(YEK BOUS-E KOUCHOULOU)
dir/scr: Bahman Farmanara. cast: Reza Kianian, Jamshid Mashayekhi.
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.
35mm, 100 min.
A LITTLE BIT HIGHER
dir: Mehdi Jafari. scr: Mahin Abbas-Zadeh, M. Jafari. cast: Ahmad Reza Asadi, Javad Emami.
A deceptively prosaic encounter between two crane operators—one an elderly former teacher, the other a romantically troubled younger man.
35mm, 12 min.
Saturday, May 5
IRAN: A CINEMATOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION
(IRAN: UNE RÉVOLUTION CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUE)
dir: Nader Takmil Homayoun. scr: Nicolas Bertrand, N. T. Homayoun. with: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Amir Naderi, Dariush Mehrjui, Feredoun Goleh, Bahman Ghobadi, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Farokh Ghafari.
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.
Video, 98 min.
Friday, May 11
TO BE A STAR
dir/scr: Fereydoun Jeyrani. cast: Ezatollah Entezami, Andisheh Fouadvand
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.
35mm, 98 min.
Interview with Mimi Brody on the opening of UCLA Iranian Film Festival - Real Video (April 7, 2007)
VENUE: All programs will take place at the Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood (courtyard level of the Hammer Museum).
TICKETS: Advance tickets are available for $10 at www.cinema.ucla.edu.
Tickets are also available at the Billy Wilder Theater box office starting one hour before showtime: $9, general admission; $8, Cineclub members, students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID; $7, Cineclub members who are students or seniors.
PARKING: $3 in the lot under the theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire.
INFO: www.cinema.ucla.edu / 310.206.FILM