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    Cannes Day 1: Hospitality, Warmth and Good Looks

    Arriving in Cannes jetlagged on a cloudless summer morning (the Mediterranean summer’s already here) I was greeted by a cultural shock of sorts – the hundreds of festival staff, hosts, security, building contractors, are all extremely friendly, helpful, polite and funny – the antithesis of Paris. The Parisian crowd stands out a mile away from […] More

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    I For Iran: Is ‘Hamoun’ Iran’s Greatest Film?

    Hamoun, playing at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday 28th March, was voted the best Iranian film of all time in 1997 within film critic circles in Iran. It was directed by Dariush Mehrjui, the Tehran-born giant of Iranian cinema, and one of the co-founders of the most modern end of Iranian New Wave cinema. More

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    GFF 2015: Batin Ghobadi’s ‘Mardan’ is an elusive, guilt-ridden debut

    Batin Ghobadi’s debut feature is an elusive crime drama that unfolds in the mountainous borderland of Iraqi Kurdistan. The younger brother of Bahman Ghobadi, best known for A Time for Drunken Horses, the writer-director was born in the region, albeit on the Iranian side of the border, and its troubled history resonates obliquely throughout the film. It is suggested that the region is engaged in a period of modernisation, through major construction projects and crackdowns on corruption, but its landscape remains rugged and primal, its men desolate and wracked with guilt. More

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    ‘Rosewater’ shows Stewart is ready for primetime

    Rosewater Written and Directed by Jon Stewart USA, 2014 Jon Stewart’s feature debut, Rosewater, is an uneven affair that excels when it stays focused on the restorative power of humor and hope.  Not surprisingly, Stewart struggles with the dramatic elements, but a nuanced performance from Gael García Bernal pulls us through the rough spots.  Ultimately, […] More

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    EIFF 2012: Mania Akbari’s ‘One Two One’ is an enthralling, rhythmical film

    One Two One Written by Mania Akbari and Majid Eslami Directed by Mania Akbari Iran, 2011 Iranian actress-director Mania Akbari’s latest film is a hypnotising mood piece, rooted in both experimental and theatrical styles. Composed entirely of less than fifteen long takes of varying lengths, the film presents a series of vignette conversations and encounters […] More