Iranian Cinephilia: From Filmfarsi to Art House Cinema

Date Film Time
10/6 Golden Quill: A Retrospective of Films by Noureddin Zarrinkelk FREE 7 pm
10/7 Qaisar FREE 5 pm
10/7 The Cow 7 pm
10/20 Downpour 7 pm
10/21 Close-Up followed by Do You Know Mr. Kiarostami? 7 pm
10/27 Still Life followed by Saless: Far From Home 7 pm
11/3 Salaam Cinema 7 pm
11/10 Seven Blind Women Filmmakers 7 pm
11/17 Mr. Haji, the Movie Actor FREE 5 pm
11/17 Tales FREE 7 pm
11/18 A Tribute to Abbas Kiarostami, presented by Ahmad Kiarostami FREE 4:30 pm

Series accompanies the exhibition Salaam Cinema! 50 Years of Iranian Movie Posters on view at the Block Museum through December 11th.

Golden Quill: A Retrospective of Films by Noureddin Zarrinkelk, Father of Iranian Animation

Thursday, October 6, 2016 7:00 PM FREE


Friday, October 7, 2016 5:00 PM FREE
(Masud Kimiai, 1969, Iran, digital, 100 min.)

The Cow

Friday, October 7, 2016 7:00 PM
(Gav, Dariush Mehrjui, 1969, Iran, DCP, 100 min.)


Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:00 PM
(Ragbar, Bahram Beyzaie, 1971, Iran, DCP, 122 min.)


Restored in 2011 by The World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Bahram Beyzaie. Restoration funding provided by Doha Film Institute.

Film Foundation

World Cinema Project


Friday, October 21, 2016 7:00 PM
(Nema-ye Nazdik, Abbas Kiarostami, 1990, Iran, 35mm, 97 min.)

Close-Up is a playful yet powerful film about identity and the slippery line between fact and fiction, made by the great Abbas Kiarostami, who died this past July. It tells the story of movie-obsessed Hossain Sabzian, who cons a Tehrani family into believing that he is filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—promising them involvement in a new film—but is eventually found out. Kiarostami blurs documentary and narrative throughout, filming Sabzian’s actual trial (but still “directing” some of what happens), re-creating early scenes with Sabzian and the Ahankhah family (with everyone playing themselves), and even manufacturing a feel-good ending—which includes one of the most stirring moments in cinema.

Followed by Do You Know Mr. Kiarostami? (Shoma Aqa-ye Kiarostami ra Mishenasid, Reza Haeri, 1998, Iran, digital, 30 min.)


Still Life

Thursday, October 27, 2016 7:00 PM
(Tabiā€™at-e Bijan, Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1974, Iran, 35mm, 93 min.)

Though he only made three narrative features in his homeland, Sohrab Shahid Saless was an influential pioneer of Iranian New Wave cinema in the early 1970s. His films, like those of many of his contemporaries, combined a documentary aesthetic and the influence of Italian Neo-Realism to create haunting portraits of people on the margins. Still Life is about an aging railroad depot employee, stationed in a remote area, whose life is one of deadening routine and solitude, with only his wife for company. It’s a social critique of bureaucracy and the disposability of the elderly. It‘s also a quiet, wrenching masterpiece.

Followed by Saless: Far From Home (Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, 1998, USA, digital, 16 min.)


Salaam Cinema

Thursday, November 3, 2016 7:00 PM
(Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1995, Iran, 35mm, 75 min.)
One of the great films about cinema, Salaam Cinema is a riveting look at the chaos that results when filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf places an advertisement for actors, and 5000 people show up. Makhmalbaf decides to make his film about the audition process itself; dozens of amateur hopefuls appear before the camera, trying out their acting skills, and talking about why they want to be in movies. The results are comic, unsettling, and absurd. Makhmalbaf provokes his would-be stars, hectoring them, prodding them to cry, forcing them to open up about their lives. Ultimately, Salaam Cinema reveals that our relationship to the movies is universal—cinema is a conduit of our collective hopes, desires, and fears whether we’re in Tehran, Paris, New York, Bombay, or Lagos.

Seven Blind Women FIlmmakers

Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:00 PM
(7 Filmsaz-e Zan-E Nabina, Mohammad Shirvani, 2004 - 2008, Iran, digital, 116 min.)


Mr. Haji, the Movie Actor

Thursday, November 17, 2016 5:00 PM FREE
(Haji Aqa, Aktor-e Sinema, Ovanes Ohanians, 1933, Iran, digital, 60 min.)



Thursday, November 17, 2016 7:00 PM FREE
(Qesseh-ha, Rakhshan Banietemad, 2014, Iran, DCP, 91 min.)

A Tribute to Abbas Kiarostami, presented by Ahmad Kiarostami

Friday, November 18, 2016 4:30 PM FREE