AboutCurated by James Neil, Parallax Media, this screening gathers a selection of documentary films, focussing on the complex relationship that young Iranians have to their rapidly evolving surroundings, as they negotiate their way through paradigmatic cultural shifts on the one hand, and a resistance to notions of modernity and contemporanaeity on the other.
Essi (directed by Reza Haeri. Iran, 2007). Essi was a salesman at the legendary Beethoven Music Store and the unofficial advisor to generations of Tehrani music lovers. He now gets by selling selected albums from his huge collection of LPs at the Friday morning flea market downtown. An eccentric connoisseur of eclectic music - from Elvis Presley to John Coltrane to Herbert Von Karajan - he lives in a world of real and imagined memories.
127 (directed by Reza Haeri. Iran, 2005).Jazz and Rock & Roll, and most other kinds of 'Western' music are officially banned in Iran. But, thousands of Iranians, and especially the young, love the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Metallica and Pink Floyd. Countless talented musicians have formed their own bands and are now showcasing their music in underground concerts. Among the most famous is the band 127, whose blend of Iranian jazz and rock has attracted a large following of devotees.
Imamzadeh Internet (directed by Reza Haeri. Iran, 2005). In south Tehran, next to the mausoleum of Imam Yahya, there is an Internet café, which attracts the young and the not-so-young. This is the starting point for a film about the impact of the internet on Iranian culture and society. From the crowded streets of the city to the small village of Shahkooh, we meet students, intellectuals, and members of parliament and hear their views on chat-rooms, sex-talk, and the larger issue of Iran and the West.
James Neil is a film practitioner and curator. He curated the Women's Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran film festival, the African programme of All Power to the Imagination: 1968 and its Legacies, as well as a number of other specialist film programmes. He has worked as a cinematographer, script consultant and leads filmmaking workshops. James is editor of the forthcoming book Middle Eastern Cinema.
This film screening is part of a series of events which focuses on emerging artistic networks and strategies in the youthful Iranian capital.
The Knowledge - Stop 2: Tehran. A series of events between 5 and 19 October 2010, at The Delfina Foundation. A journey through visual culture, one city at a time. After Damascus, our second stop will be Tehran. With contributions from Mahmoud Bakhshi, Amirali Ghasemi, Malu Halasa, Vali Mahlouji, James Neil and Solmaz Shahbazi.
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