Jafar Panahi

Jafar Panahi

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Banned Iranian Director Jafar Panahi's 'Taxi' Wins Golden Bear At Berlin Film Festival


Jafar Panahi James Franco Cate Blanchett Audrey Tautou Juliette Binoche

Jafar Panahi, the critically acclaimed Iranian director, has won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear for his film Taxi. Panahi has been banned from making films by the Iranian authorities yet continues to work and gain international support. Panahi also stars in Taxi as a driver who meets a variety of people as he drives them around Tehran. The film both celebrates Iranian culture and condemns the censorship imposed by the Iranian authorities.

Continue reading: Banned Iranian Director Jafar Panahi's 'Taxi' Wins Golden Bear At Berlin Film Festival

This Is Not A Film Review


Extraordinary
There's something eerie about watching this film just a few days after filmmaker Panahi had his draconian prison sentence (six years) and 20-year ban from filmmaking upheld by an appeals panel. Because this mock-doc, of course, is not a film.

Essentially, we are just watching Panahi while he's under house arrest awaiting the appeal ruling. His friend Mirtahmasb is operating the camera, although sometimes Panahi provides reverse angles with his iPhone. Panahi also figures that he's only banned from writing or directing a movie, so he decides to read and re-enact one of his banned scripts for us. Pointedly, it's about a young woman locked in her home by her parents to keep her from running off to university.

Continue reading: This Is Not A Film Review

Offside Review


Excellent
Jafar Panahi's Offside still turns over and over in my head, even as this review is being typed. Panahi's films, consistently banned in Iranian theaters, are genre exercises that are rather uninterested in genre mechanics. His last film, Crimson Gold, was a crime story with a climax that was set as an ellipsis to the rest of the story. In that film, he studied the reality of certain action, allowing long moments of narrative to be spent on things as seemingly inconsequential as a pizza delivery botched by a police department stakeout or a disturbing detour into a customer's private life when he can't get girls to come over.

Further progressing in his abilities, Panahi turns the girl-power fable into political discourse in Offside. More than anything, what sticks out about the film is that nothing sticks out. The central character of Crimson Gold, an overweight pizza deliverer betrothed to his best friend's sister, gave the guise of narrative construction but in Offside, Panahi's canvas is broader and much more fluid.

Continue reading: Offside Review

Crimson Gold Review


Extraordinary
Opening with a single take of a jewel heist gone wrong, Crimson Gold is the furthest from what we've come to expect from a genre that's become about machismo and futile tough-talk. The shot lingers on a doorway, where a crowd gathers listening to the off-camera shop owner held at gunpoint by Hussein (Hussein Emadeddin). Hussein drifts back and forth in front of the camera: a big, lethargic, sleepy-eyed outsider. It ends with the shop owner drilled dead and Hussein shooting himself in the head. Violence begets violence, and the crowd (and, by extension, the audience) watches on with a mixture of helplessness and curiosity.

From there, Crimson Gold tracks back in time showing Hussein's life beforehand, and the steps that led up to this moment of violence. Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (working from a script by his mentor, Abbas Kiarostami) sets up a ticking time-bomb premise, then shows a series of everyday events charged with social unrest. Hussein is shown as a harmless looking pizza deliveryman, a fat man on a motorcycle whose shell-shocked acquiescence blends into the paranoid working class neighborhoods of Tehran (routinely patrolled by corrupt cops) and the wealthy uptown penthouses he delivers to.

Continue reading: Crimson Gold Review

Jafar Panahi

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Jafar Panahi

Date of birth

11th July, 1960

Occupation

Filmmaker

Sex

Male


Jafar Panahi Movies

This Is Not a Film Movie Review

This Is Not a Film Movie Review

There's something eerie about watching this film just a few days after filmmaker Panahi had...

Offside Movie Review

Offside Movie Review

Jafar Panahi's Offside still turns over and over in my head, even as this review...

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