4 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
The best movie made by Bahman Ghobadi
6 August 2013
While no one doubts the magnificent cinematography, there is much more about this brilliant masterpiece comparable to the works of great masters such as Angelopoulos. Although the movie events happen in Iran, they are all about universal themes such as love, jealousy, destruction and the desperate search to discover the meaning of the Being.

The Iranian revolution and its destructive impact upon the society, the pandemic injustice that the revolution promised to end but did not and yet exacerbated, the hostile environment and its impact upon the afflicted families, are all depicted with rigor and with poetic images, rather than with cliché dialog and rhetoric. The movie manages to keep an appropriate pace letting the scenes find their desired depth and yet avoiding boredom, and the performances are brilliant. What more would you expect from a movie anyway than to show you innovative images and to share a new kind of experience with you, which you would have had to pay a great price to experience it first hand? A master piece 10/10.
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Deshne (1972)
A true example of the early avant-garde cinema in Iran
19 March 2012
"The Dagger" is a special movie in both the theme and style, i.e. it is not conforming to the conventions of the main stream Persian movies of the time. The film, although following a romantic narration accompanied by a famous sing from "Dariush Eghbali", puts its focus on the anomalies of a transforming society. The ugly face of seemingly legal prostitution, which bears a true criminal and compulsive form inside, is manifest through the movie. Scenes of fighting, collective drinking and prison, filled by bitter wit, and usually filmed in immense, empty and isolated locations convoy a sense of emptiness and brutal despair, experienced by many lower class Iranians at the time. None less to say that the striking tones of music intensify this expression.

While one might argue about the political and economical situation in whose context the events occur, the film zooms on individuals, and they search for dignity and respect (a modern western concept of course). One could even notice signs of a quest for revenge, due to a powerful Oedipus complex, in the brutal and controlling manner of the antagonist "Muhammad Deshneh", the master of the harlot house. He reveals at the beginning that he has been born in such a place himself, and therefore considers all of the harlots in the quarter as his own mother. These notions however are subtly expressed during the narration, so that they do not annoy the audience.

In conclusion, The Dagger might be regarded as a representative of the first avant-garde Persian movies, with their emphasis on realism and human dignity, and usually convoying a social message. This new current was halted temporarily by the Revolution of 1979, but has now been able to conquer to a great extent the barriers of censorship and dictatorship, and even gain world wide renown with movies such as "A Separation".
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Symbolic and different
14 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The film narrates two parallel stories:one about two deceased lovers(Noe and Osugi) and the other about a super erotic twenty years old female student who meets a gay student and a policeman who accuses her of prostitution.This woman is interested in characters of Noe and Osugi,representatives of feminist and anarchist movements of the early twentieth century Japan,and tries to find out the secret of their life.

Osugi is an anarchist who believes in "free love" and keeps a wife and two lovers by the same time.He believes that if the persons are financially independent,live separately and respect the liberty of others(including free sexual relationships),they can live in peace while polygamous,but finally he quites the others for Noe,the one who revives the revolutionist in him.

The erotic student and her friend are always playing games,suspending in a desperate emptiness of the time and space.The man has an obsession of burning and the woman wants him to burn her,and in a symbolic scene,they burn together in a fire which the woman has made by her stockings.

The film uses a lot of symbolical and expressionistic scenes and lighting to show the meaning of emptiness and sexuality.It is a combination of artistic scenes rather than a classic film with a linear story.we can see the trace of theater and photography in many scenes.

It is a different film which remains in mind.
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City Girl (1938)
Lovely "Ellen"
21 January 2008
This is a film about the old-time America,when the gang bands ruled big cities and escaped from justice. In this precious classic movie,we meet a lovely waitress,"Ellen Ward", who attracts always the male client with her friendly attitude and intrinsic beauty.

While engaged to a young lawyer, who works hard to get promotion and saves every penny to provide her with a peaceful life, "Ellen" always seeks a way to be able to wear magnificent jewelry and expensive clothes and dance in great parties. Thus, she accepts the invitation of a rich client who is somehow connected to the gang.

Because of her kid-like simplicity and beauty, she attracts the gang Leader "Charles Blake" at the first encounter and this is where her troubles start! This is an old movie and so you can see in it a lot of worn out tricks, such as showing the time pass by newspaper titles. Nevertheless, this a film worth being seen. The character of "Ellen" is vivid and impressive and greatly played by "Phyllis Brooks"(I think she resembles a lot "Drew Barrymore"). The story is linear and simple,but believable and once you have seen the movie,you will remember it forever!
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