Tepe Sialk is a large ancient archeological site in a suburb of Kashan, Isfahan province.
‘Tell, Zahhak’ Well-Received
By Sadaf Pour Iliaei
The Iranian-Swiss play ‘Tell, Zahhak: An Exchange of Myths’ was warmly received at the ongoing Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran.
Ali Asghar Dashti from Tehran’s Don Quixote troupe staged the play in collaboration with the Swiss Mass & Fieber directed by Niklaus Helbling.
Addressing a press conference at Artists House, Dashti said, “The performance forged an exchange of myths between the two countries. We tried to identify common mythological elements in Persian and Swiss literature. We agreed to perform the play on an in-the-round stage, which is common in Ta’zieh (Ashura Passion Play).”
The troupe had ten performances in Switzerland and three others in Zurich prior to the Tehran performance, he added.
Director and dramaturg, Helbling also said, “The story of William Tell dates back to around 500 years ago, and this is not comparable to the Persian literature with its thousand-year background. However, the Swiss revere Tell, and perform a public performance each year at his birthplace, a small village in Switzerland.”
Just as every Swiss knows Tell, every Iranian is familiar with Kaveh the blacksmith, a mythical figure in ‘Shahnameh’ (Grand Book), a magnum opus by the renowned classical Persian poet Abolqassem Ferdowsi.
Kaveh is a hero who takes a stand against the tyranny of the demon Zahhak. The symbol of his resistance is the blacksmith’s apron on a spear. Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. He was an expert marksman with the crossbow who assassinated Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of Habsburg Austria.
In this joint project, the Mass & Fieber troupe narrated the story of Zahhak, while the Don Quixote performed an adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s William Tell.
The 31st Fajr International Theater Festival runs through February 1.
‘The Past’ Shooting Ends in Paris
Academy Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi has completed shooting of his new project ‘The Past’ in Paris.
The shooting which started on October 8, 2012, was completed on its schedule few days ago.
The internationally acclaimed Iranian cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari has contributed to Farhadi’s new drama.
Argentine-French actress Bérénice Bejo who replaced former candidate Marion Cotillard along with the French actor of Algerian origin, Tahar Rahim and the renowned Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa star in the movie, Press TV said.
‘The Past’ depicts the story of an Iranian girl and a boy of North African origin. It is an immigrant romantic drama named among the top 100 most anticipated films of 2013.
Fajr Film Int’l Lineup Released
The 31st Fajr International Film Festival has announced names of the international productions selected for screening in the special section of the event.
The selected films are from 12 countries, including Iraq, the UK, Taiwan, Belgium, Spain.
‘Nuclear Nation’ by Atsushi Funahashi from Japan, ‘The Front Line’ by Jang Hoon, and ‘The Grand Heist’ by Joo-ho Kim both from South Korea are slated to be screened at the section.
The section is to host the French-Belgian joint production ‘Approved for Adoption’ by Laurent and Boileau Jung, ‘The Long Farewell’ by Chen Yi-Fen from Taiwan, and ‘In My Mother’s Arms’ by Atia and Mohammed Al-Daraji from Iraq.
‘Thirty Years of Darkness’ directed by Manuel H. Martin and Eva by Kike Maillo both from Spain, ‘First Time for Everything’ by Leonid Fomin from Russia and ‘Four Horsemen’ by Ross Ashcroft from the UK are also to be presented at the event. The first Iranian three-dimensional cinematic production ‘Mr. A’ (Aqaye Alef) directed by Ali Atshani is also slated to be screened at the 2013 edition of Fajr International Film Festival. Atshani’s film is scheduled to be presented along with 20 foreign films with the same technology of production (3D).
Iranian sound editor, mixer and recordist Massoud Behnam has passed away suddenly at the age of 57at his home in Tehran.
His death was reported only few hours after his leaving the studio where he was working along with a team on Maziar Miri’s ‘Painting Pool’, Miri told Mehr News Agency.
Born in 1955 in Kermanshah, Behnam graduated from Iran’s Advanced School of Television and Cinema and began his career in cinema in 1986 as a sound recordist in Kianoush Ayari’s film ‘Specter of Scorpion’.
Behnam was teaching in several academic Iranian centers such as the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting College, Soureh University and Islamic Center of Teaching Filmmaking.
UK Holds Major Exhibit Of Manet’s Portraiture
The Royal Academy of Arts presents the first major exhibition in the UK to showcase Edouard Manet’s portraiture.
The exhibition examines the relationship between Manet’s portrait painting and his scenes of modern life.
By translating portrait sitters into actors in his genre paintings, Manet guarantees the authenticity of the figures that populate his scenes of contemporary life and asserts a new, more potent relationship between Realism and Modernity, ArtDaily said.
‘Manet: Portraying Life’ includes over 50 paintings spanning the career of this archetypal modern artist together with a selection of pastels and contemporary photographs. It brings together works from both public and private collections across Europe, Asia, Brazil and the USA.
The exhibition is arranged thematically, exploring Manet’s world and the landscape of nineteenth-century Parisian society. Different sections focus on The Artist and his Family--Manet, Suzanne Leenhoff Manet and Léon Koëlla Leenhoff; Manet and his Artist Friends including Berthe Morisot, Eva Gonzalès and Claude Monet; Manet and his Literary and Theatrical.
Highlights include ‘The Luncheon, 1868’, depicting Léon, the son of Manet’s wife; ‘Mme Manet in the Conservatory, 1879’; ‘Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets, 1872’ and ‘Music in the Tuileries Gardens, 1862’ which brings together the artist’s cultural world. Edouard Manet was born in Paris in 1832 into a middle-class family.
His father Auguste, was a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Justice, and his mother, Eugénie-Désirée, the daughter of a diplomat. Manet enlisted in the merchant marine and travelled to South America in 1848.
A year after his return to Paris in 1849, he entered the studio of the successful salon artist Thomas Couture and for the next six years, he pursued training within and beyond Couture’s studio.
‘Amour’ Among 2013 Cesar Contenders
Oscar hopeful ‘Amour’ (Love) is up for 10 prizes at this year’s Cesars, France’s prestigious annual film awards.
But the shortlist is dominated by surprise hit ‘Camille Rewinds’ (Camille Redouble), which has 13 nominations.
The crowd-pleasing comedy follows a young woman who goes back in time to her teenage years, BBC wrote.
Emmanuelle Riva--recipient of one of Amour’s five Oscar nods--will be up for best actress at next month’s Cesar ceremony.
So is ‘Rust and Bone’ star Marion Cotillard, who has also been nominated for a Bafta for her performance.
‘Rust and Bone’, about a whale trainer whose life is irrevocably changed by a tragic accident, has nine nominations in all.
They include citations for best film, best music and best director (Jacques Audiard).
Dark fantasy ‘Holy Motors’, which divided critics at Cannes last year, also received nine nominations, including best film and best actor (Denis Lavant).
The latter faces competition from Amour’s Jean-Louis Trintignant, while Holy Motors’ Edith Scob competes with Amour’s Isabelle Huppert in the supporting actress category.
Ken Loach’s ‘The Angel’s Share’ and Denmark’s ‘A Royal Affair’ are among the titles shortlisted in the foreign film category.
Some 3,400 people from across the French film industry took part in the voting process to determine this year’s nominations.
The awards, hosted by actor and former Eurotrash presenter Antoine du Caunes, will be presented on 22 February in Paris.
The Academy Awards take place two days later in Los Angeles, two weeks after the Bafta Film Awards in London.