Iranian & N. Korean film industries

by maghshoosh

Canadian guy travels to Iran (early 2009) to check out their movie culture.  Links to part 1, part 2, part 3 (although at the end of each part it should automatically transition to the next one).

And no doubt the Dear Leader would have constructed the most magnificent movie industry in N. Korea: part 1, part 2, part 3.


more from maghshoosh

Back to anti-cinema arsons

by maghshoosh on

The cleric they interview at the beginning of part 3 (of the Iranian trip), Mohammad-Ali Zam, who is said to have helped revive the Iranian cinema, is apparently more in the reformist camp.  Since that interview, Zam released a movie named "Democracy in Daylight," which angered the Hezbollahis and led to the burning down of his film-production office earlier this year.  So, the cleric who revived revolution-era burnt down cinemas has now had his own film office burnt down!

Ari Siletz

Thanks Maghshoosh

by Ari Siletz on

I admired Shane as a director because the oblique statement made in his documentary supposedly about Iranian cinema ended up being the dominant take away. It came from nowhere and hit you like a brick! A delicious irony in the narrative was that despite the restrictions on what Shane could film, his Iranian hosts handed him on a platter a most embarrassing cultural secret: where they "made" him lie and impersonate.

I googled Shane Smith's background and his savvy cynicism makes it unlikely he didn't know he was being used. So you're right, the using was mutual, and to Shane's advantage because Iranian film authorities got the lie they wanted in their festival and Shane got  truth he wanted in his film.


Good to watch 1st P1-P3

by kazem0574 on

It is true that when one is in Iran, a lot of what we perceive of life over there turns out to be different.

I think Iranian people have worked it out, don’t say it, just do it slowly and gradually and see how far it goes. The other point is that there is a huge resistance to the extremist Akhondism and its guarding soldiers which is resisted in all layers of society and unexpected places.

Perhaps its controversial but in my opinion many turn a blind eye if they can until the very hardliners wake up to it and start causing problems.

Remember, Persians have been overrun many times but we have always somehow wiggled our way out somehow.  The Iranian Cinema today is another form of quiet resistance.  When you watch them there are always subtle political innuendo that is very Persian and I guess it rises from our ancient and colourful past.


Host & guest were accomplices

by maghshoosh on


I don't think the Canadian traveler, Shane Smith,  was necessarily hoodwinked; he seems to have happily participated in the charade.  Here's an article on that, where Smith is saying that this fakery about a famous Iran-loving American director attending an Iranian film festival was meant to fool the media and the public, but that he found it amusing to play along.  He also faked his way into Iran by gratuitously attaching himself to the Academy Awards group.  But I didn't get whether this Academy Awards group that was visiting Iran attended the festival ceremonies or not.

Ari Siletz

I couldn't believe it !!!

by Ari Siletz on

But on the other hand, lying seems to be par for the course in Iran at every level. In the documentary, the documentary filmmaker is hoodwinked by Iranian film authorities to impersonate Canadian director Guy Maddin, accept an award, and say "I Love Iran." The Iranain press has a field day with this fake statement, and everone is happy. Not sure what Maddin thought of the charade. You can see this in part 3 of the videos.

Good find Maghsoosh!