Saturday, July 04, 2015

Oon shab ke baroon oomad ya hemase-ye roosta zade-ye Gorgani / The Night It Rained or the Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy (2012 digital restoration in 2K by Pishgamane Cinemaye Arya / National Film Archive of Iran)

Kamran Shirdel: حماسه روستازاده گرگانی یا اون شب که بارون اومد / Oon shab ke baroon oomad ya hemase-ye roosta zade-ye Gorgani / The Night It Rained or the Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy (IR 1967).

حماسه روستازاده گرگانی یا اون شب که بارون اومد
    IR 1967. D: Kamran Shirdel. SC: Esmaeel Noori Ala, Kamran Shirdel. DP: Naghi Maasoumi. ED: Fatemeh Dorostian. C: Nosratollah Karimi (narratore). P: Ministero della Cultura e dell’Arte dell’Iran. DCP. 40‘. B&w. Farsi version. From: National Film Archive of Iran.
    After scanning the original negative in 2K, digital restoration was done by Pishgamane Cinemaye Arya in 2012 with funding by the National Film Archive of Iran. Due to some laboratory errors in the processing stage of the film’s production, the original negative was damaged with circular corrosion. These circles were removed and a new negative was produced and approved by the film’s director.
    Viewed at Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese (Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato) (A Simple Event: the Birth of Iranian New Wave Cinema) with subtitles in Italian and English, introduced by Ehsan Khoshbakht, 4 July 2015.

Ehsan Khoshbakht (Il Cinema Ritrovato, catalogue and website): "This satirical documentary film offers a crash course in 1960s Iran. A newspaper story of a heroic village boy who prevented a train disaster appears and spreads quickly. The incident, reported on and challenged by local officials and journalists, is soon doubted and leads ultimately to confusion, with nobody knowing exactly who has saved whom."

"Born in 1939, Shirdel is best remembered for his clandestine documentaries about impoverished people – not forgetting his remake of Breathless under the title Sobh-e Rooz-e Chaahaarom (The Morning of the Fourth Day, 1972)."

"A graduate of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, his other films prior to The Night It Rained were funded and banned by the Iranian government, never shown under the Shah. This anti-authoritarian, Rashomonesque tale was also initially banned, but six years after production was deemed harmless. It was then premiered at the Tehran International Film Festival where it won the Best Short Film award." (Ehsan Khoshbakht)

AA: A witty montage film taking its inspiration from Citizen Kane and Rashomon and putting the concept of incompatible testimonies into a wild spin. The newspapers have made a big media event about the Gorgan village boy who prevented a train crash by a bridge under construction on a rainy night. All officials and railway professionals deny that anything like that happened but the boy sticks to his tale. There is a hint that the denial is a cover-up of massive corruption and ineptitude in the administration. The truth we'll never learn. Watching this delicious film I was also thinking about a movie in another style, Vadim Abdrashitov's Ostanovilsya poezd / The Train Stopped, made during the final stage of the Soviet Union.

The DCP is bright and clean.

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