thu 30/03/2017

Iran

The Salesman

"Attention must be paid," we are famously told near the close of Death of a Salesman. And so it was this year on Oscar night when Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi won his second Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (A Separation was the first...

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DVD: The Music of Strangers

A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers is about a unique musical collective that breaks through division and reaffirms the potential of culture to unite. Subtitled...

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Under the Shadow

We haven’t been here before. Tehran in 1980, bombed by its Iraqi invaders and jumpy with revolutionary fervour, is a place preoccupied with ordinary fear. Showing the normal if pressurised life he remembers from childhood in this demonised country...

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DVD: Taxi Tehran

Taxi Tehran fits neatly into a recent tradition of films set entirely in cars; Jim Jarmusch’s Night On Earth comes to mind, as well as Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten. Initially we’re led to believe that we’re watching a fly-on-the-wall documentary,...

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Taxi Tehran

Taxi Tehran is Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s third film since the 2010 prohibition that, among other restrictions, forbade him from working in cinema for 20 years. While its very existence may count as an achievement in itself, much more...

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Closed Curtain

Any consideration of Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain will inevitably be through the prism of how it was made, and the director’s current position in his native country. It’s his second work, after This Is Not a Film from 2011, to be...

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The President

What’s it really like to be a dictator? Or president, if we put it more circumspectly, as Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf does in his new film of that name – though this President clearly believes he’s of the “for-life” variety, if not even a...

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Xerxes, Longborough Opera

One hardly expects operas about historical figures to bother much with the actual facts of their lives. But Handel’s Xerxes must nevertheless rank as an extreme case. Instead of bridging the Hellespont and invading Greece with a million men – a...

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A skateboarding female vampire in a striped Brêton top. A James Dean look-alike with a junkie father. A prostitute as confessor. Spaghetti western-influenced music. The black-and-white A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a smorgasbord of attention-...

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Manuscripts Don't Burn

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof’s Manuscripts Don’t Burn will raise many questions for its viewers, not least the practical one: just how was it made at all?Rasoulof has had plenty of problems with the regime in his native country over the years...

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A Story of Children and Film

Every cinephile is going to have a personal perspective on Mark Cousins’ A Story of Children and Film, an engrossing, affectionate, and frequently revelatory look over how aspects of childhood, and children, have been portrayed on screen over more...

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Homeland, Series 3 Finale, Channel 4

Homeland's coming home? Well not exactly, but the conclusion to this crazy, mixed-up third series did suddenly feel as if the writers had finally managed to express something that they'd been groping towards for the last three months. Namely, if the...

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