Monthly Archives: September 2009

TIFF ’09 | My Tehran For Sale

It’s been almost 10 days since the TIFF has been over and lazy me is still writing up reviews. One could even say that perhaps I’ve seen too many movies when it comes to updating my blog!

My Tehran for Sale” was the last Iranian film I watched at the festival and I truly loved it. For the first time, someone had genuinely showed the contradiction in our society with no pretence or falsity whatsoever, and demonstrated the million differences between what people see from afar and what actually happens in the real lives of the below-thirty generation of youth, comprising almost 70% of the total population. This was the first work of the poet (now director) Granaz Moussavi, who herself was present at the screening and was complimented with several positive comments from the audience in the Q&A session. The cast members did a great job in their respective parts as well.

… and just so you know, I ended the festival by watching “Irène” *again* (as I promised here), which unlike many others (!), I considered a “love-at-first-sight” feature film/documentary.

C’est tout…


TIFF ’09 | Women Without Men

More than 10 years ago, I was introduced to the stunning and unique works of a great photographer, Shirin Neshat, at an exhibition in London. I clearly remember how powerful and inspiring her works were at the time and how surprised I was by her talent and art.

On Saturday, September 19th at the TIFF, I watched her first feature film, for which she received the best direction award at the Venice Film Festival. Although the framing and cinematic shots of the film were truly breathtaking, I would have probably expected to see a better storyline as an adaptation from the book “Women without Men”. However, according to the author of the book, Shahrnush Parsipur, herself present at the Q&A session in the first screenings of the film a week prior, Ms. Neshat changed the story to a certain degree and added some parts to the original. The four characters of the women in the story were really engaging and, in my opinion, could have be displayed in a more powerful way. My overall experience was positive, but I rather consider Ms. Neshat as a great photographer and perhaps not so much a director.


“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

— John Keating (Robin Williams) in Dead Poets Society (1989)

TIFF ’09 | Leaves of Grass

Mmm… Edward Norton is among actors who can easily make me in love with his roles. In “Leaves of Grass“, an indie movie producted in the US, he plays in two roles as twin brothers who appear to dwell in two completely different universes, but at the same time each choose their own ‘language’ to talk about the same subjects in life.

A great story with a beautiful script.


TIFF ’09 | Heiran

Heiran” was my first Iranian film at the TIFF, which made me really proud. A pure yet sad story about a simple love. The director of “Heiran”, Shalizeh Arefpour, who was also present, showcased a love story between an Iranian teenage girl and an Afghan boy and the consequences thereafter. Another great performance by Baran Kosari, my favorite Iranian actress in her generation and of course the one and only Mr. Khosrow Shakibai (R.I.P.) who was performing his last role and an absolutely brilliant one.