Category Archives: Dariush Mehrjui

DARIUSH MEHRJUI, DIRECTOR OF IRANIAN “NEW WAVE”

FILMS  SELECTED :

ASHBAH (Ghosts)
Iran. 2014. Drama
HAMOUN (The Desert)
Iran. 1990. Drama
SARA
Iran, 1993. Drama
GAAV (The cow)
Iran. 1969. Drama

DARIUSH MEHRJUI  (1939)

Dariush Mehrjui is an Iranian director, screenwriter, producer, and film editor.

Mehrjui was a founding member of the Iranian New Wave movement of the early 1970s.  His second film, Gaav is considered to be the first film of this movement, which also included Masoud Kimiai and Nasser Taqvai. Most of his films are inspired by literature and adapted from Iranian and foreign novels and plays.

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GAAV (The Cow)

Director :  DARIUSH MEHRJUI
Iran. 1969. 105 min.  Drama.
Cast :  Ezzatolah Entezami, Mahin Shahabi, Ali Nassirian.

Venue :  Función Lenguaje
29 may Friday.  20.00

The story begins by showcasing the close relationship between a middle-aged Iranian villager Masht Hassan and his beloved cow. Hassan is married but has no children. His only valuable property is a cow that he cherishes because it,s the only cow in the village. When Hassan must leave the village for a short time, the pregnant cow is found dead in the barn. Hassan’s fellow villagers fear his reaction and cover up the evidence of the death and tell him upon his return that his cow has run away. Having great difficulty dealing with the loss of his beloved cow, as well the loss of livestock that affects his social stature at the village, Hassan gradually goes insane following a nervous breakdown and he starts to belive he is the cow, adopting such mannerisms such as eating hay. His wife and the villagers try in vain to restore his sanity.

The Samanid prince Nooh ibn Mansur was reported to have thought that he was a cow. He was subsequently cured of his delusion by the medieval Persian physician Avicenna. It is possible that elements of the plot of The Cow were inspired by this.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini was reported to have admired this film. This in turn was reported to have been the saving grace that allowed Iranian cinema to continue rather than it being banned after the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

AWARDS

OCIC Award – Recommendation – Forum of New Film 22nd Berlin International Film Festival 1972
FIPRESCI Prize 32nd Venice International Film Festival 1971
Best Actor Award Chicago International Film Festival 1971
Award for Best Screenplay Sepas Film Festival 1970

SARA

Director :  DARIUSH MEHRJUI
Iran, 1993. 102 min.
Adaptation of the work of Henrik Ibsen “A Doll’s House”.
Cast :  Niki Karimi, Yasman Malek-Nasr, Khosro Shakibai.

Venue :  Función Lenguaje
21 may Thursday.  21.00

Sara is the perfect young housewife. However, when husband Hessam requires an expensive emergency operation abroad, it is she who gets the funds. For the next three years Sara labours secretly to pay the shady loan and save Hessam’s pride… until the truth is revealed and, with it, the reality of her marriage.

The film is based on Henrik Ibsen‘s play A Doll’s House, with Sara in the role of Nora, Hesam in the role of Torvald, Sima in the role of Ms Linde and Goshtasb in the role of Nils Krogstad.

The movie won the Audience Award at the Nantes Three Continents Festival, and tied for the Golden Seashell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, where Niki Karimi won Best Actress award (Silver Seashell) for the title role. And Yassamin Maleknasr Best Supporting Actress in Fajer Film Festival.

HAMOUN

Director :  DARIUSH MEHRJUI
Iran, 1990. 120 min.  Drama.
Cast :  Ezzatolah Entezami, Bita Farahi, Sedigheh Kianfar.

Venue :  Función Lenguaje
23 may Saturday.  20.00

Hamid Hamoun who is an executive at a leading import-export firm, lives with his wife Mahshid who is a budding artist in abstract painting. Mahshid hails from a rich family but marries the middle class Hamoun after falling for his intellectual tastes and progressive thinking.

After 7 years of marriage Mahshid who was once very much in love with Hamoun begins to see him as a constricting force against her desire which is to do something meaningful with her life. Hamoun who wishes to pursue a career as a writer while simultaneously preparing for his PhD thesis, occasionally takes out his frustration at his wife. Mahshid soon demands to divorce him.

Hamoun is shocked to find out that his wife no longer loves him anymore. The story depicts Hamoun’s incapability to deal with the reality of losing his wife and living with his unfulfilled dreams. The subsequent scenes portray Hamoun’s realisations coupled with dreamlike sequences resembling those from various Fellini’s movies.

ASHBAH (Ghosts)

Director:  DARIUSH MEHRJUI
Iran, 2014. 95 min.  Drama.
Cast :  Mahtab Keramati, Homayoun Ershadi, Hassan Majooni.
Venue :  Función Lenguaje
28 may Thursday.  21.00
A drunken, boorish general tyrannises his wife and his maid. When the wife discovers that her husband and the maid are having an affair, she turns the maid out of the house, little realising that the young woman is pregnant with the general’s child. Years later, the general is dead, and a younger generation has risen with a new outlook on life and new problems to face… This flamboyantly stylised melodrama, loosely adapted from Ibsen, is the newest work by one of the legendary figures of Iran’s New Wave.