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. These are admirable films whose screening was botched due to chaotic situation of the war period, shortage of necessary facilities and weak management. Theater owners’ argument seemed plausible enough as the young generation has not seen these films on the wide screen or has seen low-quality versions on VHS tapes, CDs or DVDs. Most of those films have won prizes from domestic and foreign festivals. Therefore, rescreening them will be a window of opportunity for the Iranian viewers to revisit a number of the best Iranian movies made in the heyday of the post-revolution Iranian cinema. Movie buffs are supposed to welcome the initiative. Older persons will see them as reunion with their favorite movies and younger ones will be motivated due to many articles and critiques they have read about such films. This could have also provided theater owners with an opportunity to test their chances with films other than the current low-quality, worthless ones. The initiative, however, was rejected by Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and only a few of the listed films were rescreened. Mother was screened for a few weeks and Hamoon for a few months. Even Massoud Keramati’s not-so-famous Patal and Little Wishes was rescreened for children and the young audience. Those films were screened at a single theater and at late showtimes. The enthusiasm to watch Hamoon, however, was so overwhelming that the screening theater was usually saturated with viewers.

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