Les yeux ouverts
Forough Farrokhzad et Ebrahim Golestan15 Sep 2020
The event is over
On the occasion of the recent acquisition of the films, La maisons est noire [The House is Black] (1962) by Forough Farrokhzad and Les Collines de Marlik [The Hills of Marlik] (1963) by Ebrahim Golestan, the Centre Pompidou is organising a session dedicated to independent Iranian film.
19h - 21h
Forough Farrokhzad (1934-1967), a major figure in contemporary Iranian poetry and an icon of libertarian thought in her country, met writer, film-maker and producer Ebrahim Golestan (born in 1922) in the late 1950s and started to work as a typist for the productions of Golestan Film Unit; the first independent production company in Iran, where the young poet learned to edit and later to make films. As a pioneer of Iranian films d'auteurs, Golestan began his career as a film-maker in 1954, making films commissioned by the consortium of Iranian petroleum companies. His film, A Fire (1960), shot in 1958 in the region of Khuzestan, the heart of the Iranian petroleum industry at the mercy of the gigantic fire in its oil wells, already afforded a glimpse of his singular documentary approach. For their second collaboration, The Water and the Heat (1962), Golestan put Farrokhzad in charge of shooting at Abadan, in the immensity of the petroleum zones in the south of Iran. This lyrical film, which long remained unseen, is practically devoid of commentary, using musical composition as its editing principle.
In 1962 Forough Farrokhzad went to Tabriz to shoot her only personal film, The House is Black (1963), a short film on leprosy in which leprosy victims, excluded by society, await their death. The film, which won the Grand Prize for documentary film in the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 1963, signalled the birth of an Iranian New Wave. Following the film-maker's premature death in a car accident in 1967, Chris Marker, who was moved by the universal and poetic dimension of Farrokhzad's films, published a homage in which he declared that The House is Black was Iran's "Land Without Bread".
Golestan's The Hills of Marlik, made in the same year, seems to respond term for term to Farrokhzad's film, making an archaeological site where fertility statuettes are exhumed into an allegory of bodies destined for confinement and dereliction.
Farrokhzad's and Golestan's films are marked by the modern and political preoccupations of their time. Shot during the exhibition of the Iranian imperial treasure presented at the Iranian Central Bank in Teheran, The Crown Jewels of Iran (1965) applies documentary codes to the objet d'art, making it a critical allegory of monarchical power.
Session presented by Mitra Farahani (Iranian painter, film-maker and producer)
Acknowledgements Ebrahim Golestan, Mitra Farahani, Les Archives Françaises du Film (CNC), the Cinémathèque Française and the National Film Archive of Iran.
Séance présentée par Mitra Farahani (peintre, cinéaste et productrice iranienne)
Ebrahim Golestan (montage: Forough Farrokhzad), Un feu (Yek Atash), 1960, 16mm, couleur, sonore, 15min. (version anglais sous-titrée)
Ebrahim Golestan & Forough Farrokhzad, L’Eau et la Chaleur (Ab o Atash), 1962, 35mm (transféré sur DCP), noir et blanc, sonore, 16min. (vostf)
Forough Farrokhzad, La maison est noire (Khaneh siah ast), 1962, 35mm (transféré sur DCP), noir et blanc, sonore, 21min. (vostf)
Ebrahim Golestan, Les Collines de Marlik (Tappeha-ye Marlik), 1963, 35mm (transféré sur DCP), couleur, sonore, 15min. (vostf)
Ebrahim Golestan, Les Joyaux de la couronne d’Iran (Ganjineh Haye Gohar), 1965, 35mm, couleur, sonore, 15min. (version française)
Remerciements: Ebrahim Golestan, Mitra Farahani, Les Archives françaises du film (CNC), la Cinémathèque française et la National Film Archive of Iran.
Forough Farrokhzad, La maison est noire, 1962
© Photo : Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci / Service de la documentation photographique du Mnam / Dist. RMN-GP