Middle Eastern Films

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Middle Eastern Films

Postby Allie » Wed Aug 30, 2000 6:02 pm

Hi everyone,
We are currently working on putting together a monthly showing of a Middle Eastern film for the college community. Although the library offers an extensive source of movies, we want movies that express the culture of the Middle East, as opposed to the political, regional, etc. aspects. I recently viewed "Gabbeh" and loved it--but it's just a matter of getting ahold of it downtown. Other than Gabbeh, I am having difficulties locating films that would interest and hold the attention of 18-22 year olds, about the Middle East. If anyone has any film recommendations, please post them so that the Middle Eastern Club can follow through on this goal for the 2000-01 academic year!!! Thanks!! :) Allie

Re: Middle Eastern Films

Postby dan-2 » Wed Sep 06, 2000 3:34 am

Good luck! Kiarostami, of course, is the most interesting. But his films are always playing with your patience, reminding you of the passage of time (the whole point, of course). I don't know too many 20-somethings who could tolerate his sense of duration. Try getting them to sit through an Arvo Part cantata. Or even Bach.

Re: Middle Eastern Films

Postby AY » Wed Sep 06, 2000 5:20 pm

Hmmm. Twenty-somethings can't be all that bad. Kiarostami's movies can be a challenge to the casual movie-goer, so I imagine that there are a lot of thirty-, forty-, fifty-somethings who would be baffled or irritated by them, not just twenty-somethings. It doesn't have as much to do with age as it does with how open you are to innovation and originality. Allie, if you have any crazed film buffs in your group, I don't think you could do better than to check out Kiarostami. My favourites are CLOSE-UP and LIFE AND NOTHING MORE... THE TASTE OF CHERRY is a bit more difficult, I think. That one screwed my head around quite a bit. There's also Mohsen Makhmalbaf (he did GABBEH), who is one of the more popular directors in Iran. One of his best would probably be A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE, but my favourite is THE APPLE, a film based on a true story about twin girls whose father has kept them locked inside the house since birth. Social workers come to free the girls and the film is about their first discovery of the world outside their courtyard. Makhmalbaf worked on THE APPLE, but it was actually directed by his 18-year-old (!) daughter, Samira. It's a gentle, even-handed exploration and criticism of some aspects of Iranian society and it's brilliant. Twenty-somethings are not only watching these films, they're friggin' directing them! Good luck and apologies for the long ramble.

Re: Middle Eastern Films

Postby acquarello » Thu Sep 07, 2000 3:57 pm

Some directors that haven't been posted yet:

Majid Majidi (Iran) - "The Color of Paradise" or "Children of Heaven". Both are universally accessible films that are good primers to Iranian cinema.
Jafar Panahi (Iran) - "The White Balloon". Good introduction, not only to Iranian cinema, but also Abbas Kiarostami's 'real-time' style (he wrote the screenplay).
Dairush Mehrjui (Iran) - "Leila". Excellent look at the conflict between cultural tradition and modern society when a young couple is unable to have a child.
Youssef Chahine (Egypt) - "Aexandria Trilogy: Alexandria, Why?, An Egyptian Story, Alexandria: Now and Forever". Great nostalgic examination on the often turbulent history of Egypt.

Re: Middle Eastern Films

Postby zongol » Sun Oct 08, 2000 4:51 am

Good recomendations by previous replies. The one which will hold the attention of teens would be "bred and alley" "Where is the friend's house" by Kiarostami, and also the recent releaese, " Wind will cary us" again by Kiarostami. "The mirror" by Jaffar Panahi, Kids would like it. Also "The black board" which won the grand jury prize at Canne film festival this year. There are some facinating short films fro Iran my favorit in particular is "THE WHITW OUT" or Snow. It is beautiful. The most recent Iranian film which sofar has won six prizes from Venice film festival and also the UNISCO humanitarian award is "The circle" by Jaffar Panahi. It is the story of four women braking out of jail and coming to Tehran(capital of Iran) but their life is so much in denger that they go bak in jail voluntierly. I hope I could provide you with some useful information and good luck.

Re: Middle Eastern Films

Postby Sillyboy » Sun Oct 08, 2000 6:20 am

Hello Allie! A film called West Beirut (perhaps West Beiruth...) could be ideal for that age group. It's set in W Beirut in the 70's following two boys who are friends around town, at school, fooling around, just being kids etc The younger one has a Super 8 camera & films goings on at times & the older one is dealing with the mysteries & inner conflict of his teenage years.

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