Sunday, December 15, 2013
"This Is Not a Film": an Iranian artist, facing prison and banishment, fantasizes his next film as revolution comes to his door
“This Is Not a Film” (“In film nist”, 2011), shows a life of homebound former Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, as he awaits a review of a verdict from an Iranian court banning him from filmmaking for decades and putting him in prison for six years, apparently for violating a previous government order regarding the production of a film against the instructions of religious censors. This 77-minute “non film” is short with the help of Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
Panahi describes some of his earlier screenplays, including one in which a girl passes the entrance exams for the university and then is locked in at home by her fundamentalist parents. In another film, soldiers return from war, and find there is not enough auto transportation, so they lay down on railroad tracks to force a train to stop for them. His ideas seem to come from people desperate to get around the evils around them.
He tries to pretend to be filming by turning his apartment into a stage. He gets calls from relatives about to return home, tends to a pet lizard, and fends off a neighbor expecting him to dog-sit. Finally, he notices rowdiness and explosions outside, and conflagration gets ever closer to his own home.
The film does lead up to the climax with some impressive shots of downtown Tehran.
The film was distributed in the US by Palisades Tartan.
Picture: My estate, actually along the Panama Canal. Also, my apologies, there's a typo in the URL for this post.