Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Early Kiarostami: A Retrospective in London

The accompanying booklet designed by Sara Hessam Bakhtiari
Early Kiarostami is a small retrospective dedicated to the screening of 14 films by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, commencing from June 5, 2017, at Close-up Film Centre in London.


Almost one year since Abbas Kiarostami's untimely death, we celebrate the art of Iranian cinema's greatest poet by screening some of his rarely seen early films. Organised according to different themes or simply by period of production, this programme spans almost 20 years of filmmaking. It aims to reflect a journey from childhood (Bread and Alley) through adolescence (The Experience), eventually arriving at manhood and married life (The Report) – all depicted in incredibly vivid detail.

Early Kiarostami shows us an artist reframing the world and the relationships between individuals, demonstrating a uniquely creative involvement with actors – often amateurs and children – and producing philosophical works that reinvigorated the genres of documentary and narrative fiction, frequently blurring the lines between the two.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jazz as Visual Language [Book Review]

Director Gjon Mili on the set of Jammin the Blues with bassist Red Callender and saxophonist Lester Young
Developing alongside cinema in the twentieth century, recorded jazz, like film, epitomised art in the age of mechanical reproduction. The two art forms complemented each other too. “Jazz was never just a music,” Nicolas Pillai claims in Jazz as Visual Language, “live performance promised spectacle.” In this regard, cinema helped us to better understand jazz; to see Thelonious Monk playing for instance, the gestures made with his elbows and feet, is a fundamental part of the jazz experience.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

6 Book Reviews (2015-2016)


چند پیشنهاد از کتاب‌های سینمایی تازه منتشر شده (2016)
بعضی از چیزهایی که نمی‌دانیم
احسان خوشبخت

این فقط فیلم‌ها نیستند که دنیای سینما را می‌سازند؛ بدون کتاب‌های سینمایی دنیای سینما ژرفا و شگفتی‌ای که امروز دارد را هرگز به دست نمی‌آورد. بنابراین هر مروری بر یک سال سینمایی بدون مرور کتاب‌هایش کاری از اساس ناتمام است. اما امیدوارم همه در این مورد یک‌زبان باشیم که عنوان «بهترین‌ها» یا «برگزیده» که این روزها مشتری زیادی جلب می‌کند در صادقانه‌ترین شکل ممکن و تازه اگر دانشی پشت‌اش باشد فقط حاصل برخوردهای گذرای همان انتخاب کننده است. این فهرست کتاب‌های محبوب یا مهم از سال گذشته از این قاعده مستثنی نیست و به هیچ وجه نباید با «بهترین» یا حتی «مهم‌ترین» اشتباه گرفته شود، اگرچه بیش‌ترشان در فهرست آثار محبوب دیگران هم ظاهر شده‌اند.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Shah of Iran on the Set of a George Cukor Film



The Shah of Iran and the Empress Farah visiting Fox Studio (probably) in 1962, dropping by the set on which George Cukor was directing his ill-fated Something's Got to Give, starring  Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. Martin and Monroe (with the latter the Shah rumored to have an affair) are not seen on this short and mute British Pathe newsreel, but Van Johnson, Bob Hope, Cary Grant, and Charisse are among those received by HRH!