The international success of Iranian cinema over the past decades may have veiled the fact that Iranian filmmakers work under extremely harsh circumstances rarely seen in other national cinemas. Filmmaking in Iran is subject to tight government controls and strict censorship codes ranging from banning any criticism of the regime to highly restrictive codes on representation of women and their interactions with men. The imposed codes have undermined the creativity of the filmmakers and their ability to tackle pressing social issues.
“A Cinema of Discontent” explores the censorship codes through analyzing dozens of clips from mainstream and art-house films. It features insightful interviews with 12 Iranian filmmakers, including the internationally-acclaimed directors Jafar Panahi, Bahman Ghobadi, and the two-time Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman)
The Film documents the brave efforts of the filmmakers whose defiance and attempts to subvert the codes have been punished by being banned from working, imprisonment, and forced exile.Learn more
U.S.-based film professor Jamsheed Akrami talks to Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami in an inpromptu video interview, which offers a frank and funny view of Kiarostami rarely seen before.
The interview was conducted over a span of two days during the Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland in 2003. In the first segment, on a ferry trip returning from Aran Islands where Robert Flaherty shot his classic Man of Aran, Kiarostami makes a few self-depricating remarks and draws an amusing parallel between the dearth of women and scarcity of water in his films before he discusses transformation of reality in the process of “framing” in photography and film.
In the second part, shot on a rainy summer afternoon, Kiarostami is shown hard at work capturing the Irish landscapes of Galway with his still camera. The interview primarily focuses on Kiarostami’s fascination with nature photography. He justifies his interest in working in several media as a restless attempt in countering his fear of inadequacy. Later in the piece, Mr. Kiarostami expresses regret for not having enough hair to look more attractive in front of the camera.Learn more
AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE explores the history of exploitation films. From the early “Nudie Cuties” to the Blaxploitation boom in the 70s,AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE boasts interviews with film critics Herschell Gordon Lewis, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, John Landis, Fred Williamson, Kim Morgan and many more, and features over 200 clips.Learn more
Alice Guy-Blaché was a true pioneer who got into the movie business at the very beginning—in 1894, at the age of 21. Two years later, she was made head of production at Gaumont and started directing films. She and her husband moved to the United States, and she founded her own company, Solax, in 1910—they started in Flushing and moved to a bigger facility in Fort Lee, New Jersey. But by 1919, Guy-Blaché’s career came to an abrupt end, and she and the 1000 films that bore her name were largely forgotten. Pamela B. Green’s energetic film is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation. Narration by Jodie Foster.Learn more
Noted film historian Charles Musser co-wrote and directed this definitive tribute to Edwin S. Porter, the mechanic and cameraman for Thomas Edison, now recognized as a major contributor to the evolution of film structure. From the time of The Great Train Robbery in 1903 until Griffith started at Biograph (1908), Porter held center stage in early US cinema. Narrated by Blanche Sweet, the documentary features eighteen complete films including Life of an American Fireman, Jack and the Beanstalk and more. U.S. 1982. B/W & Color. 60 min.Learn more
A chronicle of the iconoclastic life of gay poet, filmmaker, and spiritual visionary James Broughton, one of the defining voices of the sexual revolution, whose groundbreaking artistic celebrations of sexuality and the body influenced generations of the 1960's and 70's to profoundly embrace life and 'follow your own weird.'Learn more
Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy Lamarr speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.Learn more
Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) was possibly the most important filmmaker of the avant-garde, and one of the greatest artists of our time. From 1952, at the age of nineteen, until his death, Brakhage created more than 400 films, ranging in length from several seconds to several hours, constantly and consistently redefining cinematic art.Learn more