We discuss the last two days of the Cinema Rediscovered 2022 program at Bristol’s Watershed; and then take a step back to discuss the event as a whole. We praise the variety of programming, the extraordinarily efficient organisation and the very welcoming community feel to the whole event. I’m very jealous we don’t have anything like this in Birmingham, and it really is made possible by the contributions of so many committed individuals. So many thanks to all of them for making this such an intellectually stimulating and socially welcoming event. We highlight the workshops and talks (the one on film criticism led by MUBI; the 40th anniversary discussion of Twentieth Century Flicks, Mark Fuller’s Sunday Cinema Walk)and then evaluate the many different strands that constituted a superb programme. We discuss Fury, Paris Blues, Chess of the Wind , Baby Face; Spencer Tracy and Barbara Stanwyck, Josephine Baker and Sidney Poitier; …and much else, not the least Richard and his pals winning the film quiz!
This all resulted in many interesting conversations and led me to seek out Ehsan Khoshbakht, the director of Filmfarsi, to find out more about the film and the cinema that is its subject. We discuss the process that led to the film; the Iranian film industry in this period, the extent to which it is transnational, co-productions, the importance of film festivals such as the Moscow Film Festival to Iranian Cinema; the relationship of Filmfarsi to the Iranian New Wave; the melodramatic mode of much of this cinema that crosses across various genres (crime films, musicals, domestic melodrama); we discuss how much of this cinema was lost in the aftermath of the revolution and why this was so. We also discuss the process of recovering the films, which are collectively also a history of Iran and Iranian people in this period. The podcast can be listened to below: