Nader’s Separation form Simin
Asghar Farhadi is creditable Iranian director and every film made by him can be a prominent event in the Iranian cinema. He started his career in television and stage plays by making attractive series who established him as a new talent. His first feature, Dance in the Dust, cast Faramarz Qaribian and was greatly welcomed at that year’s Fajr International Film Festival, though the welcome was not overwhelming. He then made Shahr-e Ziba casting Taraneh Alidousti which revealed other angles of his creativity and art. The important point about both films was his lack of interest in commonplace themes. He usually opted for attractive and novel motifs. His third film, Fireworks Wednesday, which cast Hedyeh Tehrani proved that he has come of age and nobody could doubt his directing abilities anymore. About Elli has been the pinnacle of his professional career about which many critiques have been written in the past two years. Nader’s Separation form Simin is the name of his new film which is about a young couple going to get divorced until a surprise event brings them close.
Kiyanoush Ayyari is among seasoned, stylist Iranian directors whose career started before the Islamic Revolution by taking part in “free cinema” current. It was a progressive, though amateur, current whose directors started to make 8-mm films in order to oppose commercial films. A number of currently famous Iranian directors hailed from that generation with the most prominent of them being Ayyari. Ayyari introduced the modern Iranian cinema to the world by making such films as Across the Fire in 1980s and his works along with those of Amir Naderi, Abbas Kiarostami, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf were among the first Iranian films to take part in renowned international festivals. Ayyari makes few films, but has his own style. His To Be or Not to Be, which he produced with no famous actors and on low budget in the late 1990s has been considered by many film critics as one of his best and most artistic works. Thereafter, his films have not found their way onto the public screens. The Iranian Spread, which was a tribute to various Iranian cultures, faced many production problems and was never screened.
24 and Prison Break in Iran
24 and Prison Break are foreign series with many fans in Iran. Their downloaded copies were already everywhere before some private institutes decided to supply them in an official and legal form. Thus, filmmaking institutes supplying material to home video network (on CDs or DVDs) entered into a competition to get a permit for supplying those series. They were finally supplied in Iran and were received enthusiastically by people. The best and most common way for supplying foreign films and series is still dubbing them into Persian. Therefore, a group of experienced dubbing artists came together to do the job. Nobody actually thought that a series like 24, which is about anti-spy and anti-terrorist activities of the US government would be permitted in Iran, but that has actually happened. Of course, the measure came under serious fire from traditional circles. 24 and Prison Break are the most suitable series for Iran in terms of actresses’ costumes.
Rescreening old memorable films
There is serious concern about people having lost their appetite for watching movies at theaters which has brought the Iranian cinema close to bankruptcy. Theater owners are therefore, looking for ways to draw people to theaters, but this has failed with most Iranian films. Therefore, new methods have been tested. Apart from screening soccer matched at theaters, a number of theater owners have submitted a plan to state officials to rescreen a number of memorable films of the past. They argued that new films were not attractive enough to motivate people, but memorable films aroused a sense of nostalgia and could get people to watch them at movie theaters. The list they had offered the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance included such names as Mother (Ali Hatami), Hamoon (Dariush Mehrjui), Captain Khorshid (Nasser Taqvai), The Love-Stricken (Hatami) and many other films produced in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ethnic and Guild-related Protests to Films and Series
Iran is blessed with a variety of ethnic groups, cultures, and dialects each accompanied with special costumes and lifestyle. Such fragmentation has sometimes pitched various ethnicities against each other. People living in various regions sometimes think their ethnic identity is something different from their national identity. People of Azarbaijan, for example, consider themselves to be Turks rather than Persians and are very sensitive to all kind of jokes, gests or any other thing which may question originality of their culture and language one way or another. That sensitive has been also reflected in their films and books. That is, if a Turk character does something improper or is depicted in an unsuitable way in a film or series, they will protest to having been misrepresented! Perhaps, it will be quite funny for a European or an American citizen to know about such prejudices, which are also extended into occupations and various guilds.