TORONTO — I make my debut today at the invaluable Andrew Breitbart and John Nolte site Big Hollywood (just a coincidence — the news peg came when it did). Riffing off the controversy over Jafar Panahi not being allowed to attend the Venice Film Festival, I take a look at Panahi’s career as an artist (mostly his three best films) and at some of the ways it dovetails with his “career” as a martyr. The piece is here.
One thing I wanted to mention but couldn’t find a way to do so elegantly (and the piece was already butting against Big Hollywood’s word-count suggestions) is that I saw Panahi present OFFSIDE in person here back in 2006, when he could travel abroad, though he was already skirting the edge of the mullahs’ tolerance. In his intro and/or Q-A (I forget which), Panahi mentioned that he was so afraid of regime censorship that didn’t even risk lab-development of the working materials in Iran, instead shipping the undeveloped film stock abroad (to France, if memory serves). Panahi said that all the material was safely outside Iran and that, while he was hoping that OFFSIDE would pass censorship and could play in Iran, he would not alter the film. The Toronto audience let out a spontaneous round of applause. God bless and be with this man.
No comments yet.