Curated by Bérénice Reynaud and the Festival International Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias Montréal (FCMM)
FILM and VIDEO Series

In conjunction with LES NOUVEAUX CINEMAS, the UCLA Film and Television Archive presents the Los Angeles premiere of six new films plus a program of animation from Iran in its 14th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, January 16 - February 8, 2004. Visit www.cinema.ucla.edu for further information.

Special Thanks: Thom Andersen, Steve Anker, Mohammad Atebbai, James Bond, Luc Bourdon, Sylvie Brenet, Christiane Ducasse, Anthony Doncker, Bruno Jobin, Dorna Khazeni, Gordon Kurowski, Cheng-Sim Lim, Caroline Masse, Natalie Melançon, Aziz Motazedi, Sara Nodjoumi, David Pendleton, James Roberts, Peter Scarlet, Shohreh Shashani, Craig Smith and Sarah Watson.

Thursday February 5, 2004

7:30 p.m.


Moslem Mansouri: Trial (Mohakeme)

Iran/USA, 2002, DVD, 41 min., OV Farsi, Eng. ST Best Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival 2003, Los Angeles premiere

"In the village of Khosro, a small group of traditional brick makers produce 8 mm movies in a simple, yet innovative way. Over a period of ten years, the director, Mr. Matini, wrote 110 books and made 18 movies without permission from the government. Then, in 1993, he was arrested. He was released a few months later under the condition that he never make another movie. The villagers were forced to sign documents saying that they would not associate with the filmmakers. Yet, the group took the risk of making one more film so that we could make our film while they were shooting theirs." (M. Mansouri)

The mise-en-abime of the filmmaking process permeates Trial. Jailed from 1981 to 1983 for his political views, director Moslem Mansouri produced eight underground documentaries before seeking political asylum in the US in 1999. Hossein Sabzian, whose obsession for film had prompted him to impersonate Mohsen Makhmalbaf - an odyssey recreated by Abbas Kiarostami in Close-Up - is the main actor in Matini's film.

Yassamin Maleknasr: Afghanistan, The Lost Truth (Afghanestan, Haghighat-e Gomshodeh)

Iran, Beta SP, 2003, 64 min., OV Farsi, Eng. ST, Los Angeles premiere

After the fall of the Taliban regime, Iranian filmmaker Yassamin Maleknasr traveled to Afghanistan to witness the hope and dignity of its people, their culture and history, rather than the war and its horror. As she journeyed from Mashad to Herat, from south to north, her status as a female filmmaker allowed her to approach men, children and particularly women as no ordinary traveler could. She was able to capture the real life of these women hidden under their burqas. Since her first film in 1995 (The Common Plight) Maleknasr has directed many documentaries. (FCMM)

Moslem Mansouri and Yassamin Maleknasr will be present, schedule permitting

Friday February 6, 2004

7:30 p.m.


An Evening with Canadian Animator Michèle Cournoyer

Michèle Cournoyer works essentially with the theme of metamorphosis: in her films the female characters take on astonishing forms, transforming themselves into flowers, chickens or even hats. Whether using a computer (An Artist), paint (Feather Tale, Dolorosa) or Indian Ink (The Hat), Michèle Cournoyer is inspired, for the most part, by the present. She often borrows on her own personal experience and those of others for inspiration. She then touches on the idea of transformation, giving this reality a new, enriched and at times even savage form. In Dolorosa she uses a dancer's real body to create a flower. For Feather Tale, she filmed herself, then a man tormenting a chicken. Amalgamating the two images, a woman-chicken is delivered in a cardboard box to a BBQ-starved man. Mich&eagrave;le Cournoyer's rapport with reality is both straightforward and ambiguous. Straightforward because intimacy is at the root of her creation, ambiguous because she blurs the concrete and reassuring nature of reality by perverting it through the expression of an inner reality. In each film, the animator has invented a new approach, adapting the technique to the content, using the world around her to paint the "monstruousness" of reality - Marco de Blois, curator, animated films, Cinémathèque Québecoise

Cournoyer's films will include:

Papa! Papa! Papa! (L'Homme et l'enfant), 1969, 16 mm, col., 5 min
Alfredo, 1973, 16 mm, col., 3 min
Spaghettata (co-directed with Jacques Drouin), 1976, 16 mm, col. 1 min
La Toccata, 1976, 16 mm, col & b/w, 10 min
Old Orchard Beach P. Q., 1981, 16 mm, col., 9 min
Dolorasa, 1988, 35 mm, col., 4 min
Feather Tale (La Basse-cour), 1992, 35 mm, 5 min
An Artist (Une Artiste), 1994, 35 mm, col., 5 min
The Hat (Le Chapeau), 2000, 35 mm, b/w, 6 min

Plus a newly-completed surprise film!

Friday February 6, 2004

9:30 p.m.


A series of Canadian experimental films exploring family romance, the representation of childhood, blocked visions and the duplication of images in life and death

Mike Hoolboom: Imitation of Life

Canada, 2003, Beta SP, 75 min., OV English, US premiere

From one of Canada's best known experimental film/video-maker, "this ten-part video strains childhood through a history of reproduction, culling pictures from the Lumi&eagrave;re Brothers to the present day in order to find the future in our past. Here are children of pictures, as pictures themselves, the ones who will walk on our graves, granted a legacy of framing and image-making that has helped shape their lives and their ability to grieve those no longer around to share them." (Mike Hoolboom).

Preceded by

Nicolas Roy: LÉo

Canada, 2003, Beta SP, 11 min., no dialogue, US premiere

Ever since his mother's death, twelve-year-old Leo has lived alone with his father and his dog in a tumbledown little house in the middle of nowhere... a sad, isolated spot. Starting today, Leo will never be the same. (FCMM)

And by

Donigan Cumming: Locke's Way

Canada, 2003, Beta SP, 21 min., OV English, Los Angeles premiere

Locke's Way is the photographic path to knowledge, full of twist and turns, treacherously steep. A family's photo album tells us everything and nothing about the impenetrable past. (FCMM)

Saturday February 7, 2004

7:30 p.m.


Mahnaz Afzali: The Ladies (Zananeh)

Iran, 2003, Beta SP, 55 min., OV Farsi, Eng. ST, West Coast premiere

This much-talked about, ground-breaking documentary is also an amazing instance of cinema vérité. For her second film as a director, the well-known film and television actress Mahnaz Afzali planted her camera in a public restroom in the middle of a Tehran park. Managed by an old lady, the place has become a shelter, a haven for the women from all walks of life who gather there to talk, laugh, cry and simply be alive. Runaway girls, prostitutes, drug dealers and ordinary women mingle and listen to each other while sharing moments of bonding. In this uncensored place they can be free, unveiled -- both physically and mentally -- and talk about anything and everything without fear. (FCMM)

Followed by:

Maziar Bahari: And Along Came a Spider (Va Ankaboot Amad)

Iran, 2002, Beta SP, 53 min, OV Farsi, Eng v-o and ST, West Coast premiere

Because a cab-driver mistook his wife for a whore, Saïd Hanaei, a young Muslim fundamentalist endeavored to methodically kill sixteen prostitutes, to rid his country of "spiritual pollution". To his beautiful, religious wife, for his teenage son, for some fundamentalist factions, he's a hero. For others, a monster. "You have the same name as one of the women I killed," he tells the female journalist interviewing him. Meanwhile, two little girls mourn their mother. One of them says she'll become a painter, "to tell the truth." BR

Saturday February 7, 2004

9:30 p.m.


Sepideh Farsi: The Journey of Maryam (Safar-e Maryam)

Iran/France, 2002, 35 mm, 80 min, OV Farsi, Eng. ST, US premiere

A subtle mixture of documentary and fiction, The Journey of Maryam outlines the blurred contours of exile -- this ineffable quality that the place of your birth still retains long after you have left. Like Maryam, the invisible heroine of the film -- shot entirely through a subjective camera -- Sepideh Farsi lives in Paris. Her film is a sensitive, often melancholy meditation on the origin of storytelling, on loss and displacement, nostalgia and bonding. Place the faded photograph of a man before total strangers, tell them he's your long-lost father, that you're looking for him, and suddenly, with unexpected warmth, a desire to please, a desire to help, they remember -- yes he was here -- last month, last year, yesterday. Go to the park, to that other neighborhood, ask the shopkeepers. In the footsteps of this--maybe imaginary--father, the filmmaker/heroine (re)discovers Tehran, and captures it on the filmstrip whose texture has been reprocessed to look like the intricate fabric of a hand-woven cloth, like the meandering of our memory. BR

Preceded by:

Mohammad Ahmadi: Captive, Waiting (Asir, Entezar)

Iran, 2002, Beta SP, 23 min, OV Arabic, English ST, US premiere

A man writes to the child he has never seen to announce that they will finally meet, eighteen years after his/her birth --the time elapsed since his capture by the Iranian army. This man is one of the hundreds of Iraqi prisoners of war still in captivity since the Iran-Iraq war ended twenty years ago. (FCMM)

Sunday, February 8, 2004

7:30 p.m.


Narjiss Nejjar: Les Yeux Secs

France/Morocco, 2003, 35 mm, 118 min, OV Arabic, ST Eng - Winner, Volkswagen People's Choice Award, FCMM 2003, US Premiere
Iran, 2002, 75 min, 35 mm, OV Farsi, Eng. ST, Los Angeles premiere

Lost in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco is a small Berber village, Tizi, inhabited by a community of prostitutes. Men can gain entrance only with money. Hala, the village leader, urges the women to abandon their newborn children so the same tragic fate does not befall a new generation. "Keep your eyes dry and your pain hidden" is the daily maxim of these women. Tizi is turned upside down by the arrival of a former prostitute, recently released from a 25-year imprisonment. In her company is a young man, who sows the seeds of dissent throughout the village. For her first film, the young Moroccan filmmaker Narjiss Nejjar explores the emancipation of women and men's control over their destiny. Tizi is a real place that still exists. At first, Nejjar wanted to make a documentary about the village, but soon fiction became necessary. "I felt a certain reticence on the part of the village women and quickly understood what would become the subject-matter of my film: the look of the other." (FCMM)


Monday, February 9, 2004

8:00 p.m.


Rakhshan Bani-Etemad: Our Times (Ruz-e Gar-e Ma)

Iran, 2002, 35 mm, 75 min, OV Farsi, Eng. ST, Los Angeles premiere

This powerful, multi-faceted documentary by one of Iran's best known directors examines the parliamentary elections of 2001, focusing on the 48 female candidates whom the government refused to officially recognize. First, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (The Blue-Veiled, 1994, Under the Skin of the City, 2000) follows a group of young girls (including her own daughter) who have opened a campaign office for the successful reformist candidate Mohammad Khatami. Then, she gradually sets her focus on the life of one of the unsuccessful presidential candidates, Arezoo Bayat, an ambitious 25-year old twice divorced woman who takes care of her blind mother and 9-year old daughter while holding down two grueling jobs. (Vancouver Film Festival)

Preceded by:

Ebrahim Mokhtari: Zinat, A Very Special Day (Zinat, Yek Rouze Bekhosous)

Iran, 2000, Beta SP, 56 min, OV Farsi, English ST, Los Angeles premiere

In 1999, on the orders of Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, the first municipal elections in 20 years took place. Among the 330,000 candidates were 5,000 women. One of them was Zinat. Filmmaker Ebrahim Mokhtari set up his camera in Zinat's house and filmed the reactions of visitors, both positive and negative, with an emphasis on their views on the position of women in society. Zinat defends her beliefs with remarkable vivacity, humor and compassion. (FCMM)


Date/Time G ST CA
Thur 2.05.04 8:00 pm $9 $7 $5
Fri 2.06.04 8:00 pm $9 $7 $5
Sat 2.07.04 8:00 pm $9 $7 $5
Sun 2.08.04 8:00 pm $9 $7 $5
Mon 2.09.04 8:00 pm $9 $7 $5

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff