Category Archives: Film Studies

Relationship between film form and messages+values in Iranian Film.

Iranian Film’s I have so far watched

  • Nobody knows about Persian Cats, Bahman Ghobadi
  • Offside, Jafar Panahi

Both of these film’s are neo-realistic, with ‘Offside’ being completely linear and adhering to the forms of minimalist neo-realist film making. ‘Nobody knows about Persian Cats’ has non-linear elements to it, especially the beginning which foreshadows the ending, but other than that they are pretty minimalistic, with dialogue occupying the film more than the action.

With ‘Nobody knows about Persian Cats’, I believe there is a relationship between film form and the messages present in this film. The mise-en-scene in this film always shows Tehran as this ‘poverty stricken place’, from my own perspective. I think this was intentional, he wanted to show Tehran for what it really was. In the rap ‘music video’ vignette, the song lyrics were a social/political commentary on the living conditions of the poor in Tehran, and the caste system (the gap between the poor and the rich).The mise-en -scene in this sequence go hand in hand with the lyrics, and accentuates a clear relationship between film form and messages in this film.

In this film, Negar, who is a woman is always seen wearing a head-scarf. This ties in with the religious message in this film, that women must wear head-protection to conceal their heads from other men. Even when she is at her home in the film, she is seen wearing a head scarf, because of the audience (us) watching her. We can say that the film strictly adheres to Shariah Islamic law, which is the governing law in Iran. In that sense, the film conforms to this law.

Also some of the visuals in this film, like to present Iran, specifically Tehran as this vast blustering city. There are several establishing shots from rooftops of Tehran, and just before the rap vignette, the rapper states to Nader “Cause what we have to say is for the heart of this city”. This is almost a glorification of Tehran, and commenting of the bad side of it at the same time.

At the last scene, the westernised party and the general mise-en-scene could be a comment on the rebellion in film, the separation of the people from the government. Party’s like this and drinking are strictly forbidden, as per Shariah Law, however this party is shown anyway. Perhaps to show that all has fallen down and there is no way out of this dilemma. Unless you jump out of a window.

Nobody knows about Persian Cats- a review by based Sameer

Nobody Knows about Persian Cats- Bahman Ghobadi

As I finished watching the film, I could not comprehend what just happened. The last closing minutes where powerfully emotional and left me teary.

But first, a brief plot description. The film focuses on Ashkan and Negar who are musicians in Iran and due to the Shariah Islamic law prohibiting their genre of music they play, they are seeking to leave the country. But here is the plot device- they need passports and visa’s. So they head on over to local media pirate Nader to seek help in their endeavors. Nader points them to sleek and charismatic oldie Mash David who promises to provide them with Passports/ and or visa’s if they come up with the money. So Ashkan and Negar have to devise a plan to raise the money, and their idea was to get some band members and play a concert to raise the money. And so begins their quest as they run into different bands and play some music with an accompanying music video which makes a political statement, about the conditions of the city of Tehran. These sequences are especially well done, particularly the rap sequence.

I can’t help but feel the whole film always has a sense of foreboding and darkness throughout it as it builds up to the shocking climax ending. Maybe it’s the barebones style neo-realist film making that gives us a sense that it will not be a fairy tale happy ending, this is the real streets of Tehran; life isn’t a bed of roses here.

The film does remind me of a documentary as it’s hand-held camera filming and casual dialogue makes it seem so. It doesn’t feel scripted and the sensation is hard to describe.  The music played is a delight to hear (well at least for me) and fits in well with the tone of the moment; the song doesn’t feel out of place. The film does have a lot of dialogue, and all of it is to progress the narrative. There have been many complaints about this, but I personally found the dialogue to be useful and engaging to the audience, which is me. I think attention to detail is needed for this film as you need to focus on what is being said, or else the narrative zooms by. It is almost fully linear so not too hard to follow, even though we have a non-linear first 10 seconds to foreshadow the ending, a technique that is effective in building an enigmatic wall around the audience and setting them to think from the beginning.

I did not find anything wrong with this film, to me it was an eye-opening Iranian Film into the whole Iranian Underground Music Culture and really makes you question the will of people and what they are capable of doing for their music. The first of many Iranian films for this course, so looking forward to them.

Sayonara,

Sameer

Tagged , ,

Annotated Catalogue

FILMS

Item 1: The end of evangelion (Khara/Gainax,JP,Dir.Hideaki Anno). This is my focus film and is the very literal end to the anime series. Since every viewer was dissapointed with the ending of the series, this was Anno’s response to the overwhelmingly negative reception to the final two episodes of the series.Due to budget constraints, the last two episodes skimped out, with a weird narration taking place instead of any action and was sure to confuse anybody, since it does not explain anything that is going on. However, when Anno and his team got the money, they created the actual end, which explains a whole lot more on what is going on and now the final two episodes are seen to be a compliment to this film. This film explodes with imagery and visual parallelism and this is what I’m covering in my research project. The DVD also has an cast audio commentary of the whole film by Amanda Winn Lee who is the English Language director of the film and also the voice of Rei Ayanami. This cast commentary shed a lot of light on some scenes that went by too fast for the human eye, and they also discussed more on the themes behind the show into more depths that even other items in my catalogue did not cover.

Item 2:

 Evangelion 1.11 (Khara/Gainax, JP, Dir. Hideaki Anno). This is a re-make of the original series of ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. Evangelion 1.11 comprises of the first 7 episodes in HD. This ‘rebuild’ of the series is meant to crush the original series, according to the director and creator Hideaki Anno. This film is important as it is definitively the first 7 episodes of the anime series and as such, contains the psychological themes present in the original tv series. 

Item 2:

Evangelion 2.22 (Khara/Gainax, JP, Dir. Hideaki Anno) The sequel to Evangelion 1.11 and an alternate re-working of the original series, 2.22 picks up where 1.11 left off and continues researching the human condition of the characters and the consequences of some decisions. Like anything Evangelion it is introjected with religious symbolism that fit the grand scheme of the world of Evangelion and ultimately ‘The end of Evangelion’.

Item 4:

 Neon Genesis Evangelion- Death and Rebirth (Khara/Gainax,Dir.Hideaki Anno) The first follow up film to the anime series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. This film is a recap of the anime series and also introduces some new scenes that tie in with the conventional thematic elements found in evangelion, e.g loneliness, individuality. This item was very valuable as since it is a recap of the anime series, it contains the thematic elements and the essential psychological influences that build up to the finale which is my main focus film ‘End of Evangelion’. The DVD also has cast commentary by Amanda Winn Lee (Rei Ayanami), who provides a humorous and an in depth discussion into the themes of this two part finale, which again their perspectives on the film, was much more credible than the ones found on the internet so it was no doubt valuable to this research.

BOOKS

Item 5:

Sadamoto, Yoshiyuki. Neon Genesis Evangelion  3 in 1 (Viz Media, 2012). A collection of the original manga series illustrated and written by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki. This book/manga proved invaluable to my research on the psychology of Evangelion as it explained alot of back story and context very clearly and effectively. Now that is a miraculous blessing to an Evangelion fan since the show/film is merciless to the audience in the fact that it explains nothing and we have to work out the conclusion by ourselves. Also it gives us some context on the various events that take place in the series. It also contains some interviews by the voice actors of the characters and the director as they explain some of the character motivations and the mental states of each of them as they begin to pilot the EVA. Very useful to have in this research since it is very detailed in the areas mentioned above.

MAGAZINES

Item 6:

Hong, E.  The End of Evangelion in Anime fringe magazine November 2002. This is very nice, unbiased review on the movie and gives us an insight into the very niche audience of evangelion– ‘not for everyone….leave it on all day and freak out your non anime watching friends’. Interesting thoughts are posted about the lightning fast narrative of the movie which I can use for my research. Too valuable to not include in research

INTERNET

Item 7:

http://wiki.evageeks.org/  This website contains the most comprehensive and detailed knowledge on Evangelion available on the internet. It is fan-based but has a lot of credibility since it has been running for more than 10 years. I find the Theory and Analysis section of the website the most useful as it explains a lot of the elements of Evangelion that is not described or explained in the actual movie/series. That being said, everything is not explained at all, so this website has been a lot of help to my research, especially when it comes to an auteur approach to Evangelion. Personally it has helped me in understanding Evangelion even more, since my first visit on the website 7 years ago. This is the best website for anyone who has an interest in Evangelion , incredibly valuable to my research.

Item 8:

http://thoughtsonstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/end-of-evangelion-in-depth.html The author of this particular blog article did an incredible analysis on the whole ‘The end of Evangelion’. The analysis is very important to me as it allows me to take some perspective into what is really going on in Evangelion, since it can have multiple interpretations. Also helped me further understand the show/movie, since one cannot have enough of Evangelion, there is always more to learn. So in that sense, it was valuable to my research. The author Patrick Meaney discusses psychology and philosophies in Evangelion which are the very focus of my research project so it was valuable in my research.

ANIME CONVENTION

Item 9: Anime expo 2013, (July 8th, 2013), LA. Took a solo trip to Los Angeles exclusively for this convention. I met a lot of people and discussed Evangelion with them, simply because it is just something I enjoy doing. It was perfect research to get other people’s thoughts on the movie and the rebuild films. Also bought some Evangelion merchandise which does help me in research as it enables me to appreciate the beauty of it further. Also it cost me a hefty chunk of money. But all in all, it was good research for my project

 

MATERIAL NOT SELECTED

Item 10:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/feature/2002-06-11 has some good analysis on the whole movie but I do believe most of it is just really based on conjecture. It is not a bad thing, but I prefer the information available on the evangelion wiki which I’m using as one of my sources. Plus some aspects of this analysis  is stuff that I already know. Plus this source has too much analysis on ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ tv series and not the actual ‘The end of evangelion’ film which is a problem considering I’m doing film studies. It was a good website however it reminded me of how depressing the actual series is.

Annotated Catalogue

Tagged

Evangelion- Engel

An AMV giving us an insight into the mind of Asuka. In Asuka we trust

Tagged

ScriptWriting Update

So a collaboration effort with anonymous has produced 4 pages for  the script for ‘Time is Money’. This script is warped and there is some non-linear narratives that follow. I like to think that this script follows the themes of identity and nature and the non-visible dogma/doctrine of things and the consequences of messing with it. Great success lies within. What is A.M.R inc. Who does Satheesh work for? What will he do with the ‘Ripper’? It all unfolds in next weeks edition of ‘Time is money’.

Tagged

Script writing is fun!. I would believe my genre of the script is Sci-Fi detective thriller and offers some time travel.Its looking great as we speak. A lot of descriptive descriptions and the dialogue is looking top notch.

Script writing is fun!. I would believe my