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The Playlist

Review: 'Closed Curtain' Directed by Jafar Panahi And Kambuzia Partovi

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • July 10, 2014 12:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Closed Curtain
It’s damn near impossible to reflect on Jafar Panahi’s latest directorial effort/rebellion, “Closed Curtain,” without considering the facts of his current life. After being arrested and imprisoned multiple times in the last few years, the Iranian government has prohibited Panahi from leaving the country and slapped the man with a 20-year ban on any sort of filmmaking. His torture was palpably captured in “This Is Not A Film,” a work created on cheap digital equipment that served not only as a diary for the filmmaker but as a defiant proclamation: his voice would not be silenced.

The 5 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2013 Berlin Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 6, 2013 3:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
We're still brushing the snow off our metaphorical evening wear from the Sundance Film Festival, which feels like it ended only yesterday, and yet tomorrow sees the second stop of The Playlist's 2013 festival roadshow get underway, with the opening night of the Berlin Film Festival. The earliest in the year of the Big Three European festivals (alongside Cannes and Venice), the Berlinale, founded in the German capital in 1951, is traditionally one of the most prestigious events in the movie calendar.

Gabe Toro's Ten Best Films Of 2012

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 28, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 28 Comments
A strong year, this 2012. Every genre had its share of riches, and we were spoiled by new films from Andersons Wes and Paul Thomas, further mythmaking from Quentin Tarantino and an inquisition into our currency from David Cronenberg. We saw the continued evolution of the careers of Jacques Audiard, Rian Johnson, Craig Zobel and Ira Sachs, while William Friedkin was revitalized, and, as if by accident, two more great films tumbled out of Steven Soderbergh’s pocket. By the time Steven Spielberg cranked out his finest film in almost two decades, we were awash in riches.

Review: 'This Is Not A Film' Is Jafar Panahi's Highly Moving Depiction Of His Own House Arrest

  • By Alison Willmore
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  • February 28, 2012 2:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The title of Jafar Panahi's "This Is Not A Film" is a nod to the fact that the 75-minute feature is shot on a DV camera and an iPhone, and consists mostly of Panahi and his collaborator and friend Mojtaba Mirtahmasb hanging out in the former's high-rise apartment over the course of a day. But it's also a postmodern jab at the lousy circumstances that led to its own existence -- this is not a film, because Panahi is banned from making films for the next two decades. He's under house arrest, awaiting news of his appeal of the six-year prison sentence he was given for his actions in support of Iran's opposition movement, forbidden from talking to the press and from leaving the country, silenced. For its premiere at Cannes, which Panahi wasn't, of course, able to attend, it was reportedly smuggled out on a USB stick hidden inside a cake. "This Is Not A Film" is about the realities of being deprived of your voice, and it's funnier and sadder than any summary of its contents suggests, a work that's an act of protest that ties itself into its filmmaker's past before becoming a vulnerable, melancholy ode to carrying on and hoping you won't be left behind as the world you've been denied rolls on outside your gates.

Jailed Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Was Set To Make Hollywood Debut On Steve Zaillian-Scripted 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 13, 2011 9:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments
One of the most depressing events in the film world in the last few years has been the imprisonment of Iranian director Jafar Panahi. The man behind acclaimed films such as "The Circle," "Crimson Gold" and "Offside" among others, was arrested by the country's regime two years ago for "assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," and sentenced to six years in prison, as well as being banned for making films, or leaving the country, for twenty years. Petitions and protests have been held all over the world, just as Panahi's documentary "This Is Not A Film" was unveiled at festivals, but so far, to no avail.  And it has emerged that, just as Panahi's imprisonment took place, he was moving towards making his Hollywood debut with one of the biggest producers in town, and an Oscar-winning screenwriter.

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