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This is not a film

(DVD - 2012 - Persian)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
This is not a film
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This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France on a usb drive hidden in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his 2010 sentence (six years in prison and a 20-year ban from filmmaking, interviews or leaving the country) Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, and discussing his plight with his friend and collaborator, Mirtahmasb.
Title: This is not a film
[videorecording]
Published: [United States] : Palisades Tartan, [2012]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (77 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.
Notes: Originally released as a motion picture in 2011.
Bonus features: theatrical trailer; commentary track; 2008 interview excerpt with Jafar Panahi.
Summary: This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France on a usb drive hidden in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his 2010 sentence (six years in prison and a 20-year ban from filmmaking, interviews or leaving the country) Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, and discussing his plight with his friend and collaborator, Mirtahmasb.
Audience: Not rated.
Local Note: 1
Branch Call Number: DVD 365.4509 THI
Statement of Responsibility: Jafar Panahi Film Productions ; writer, Jafar Panahi ; directors, Mojtaba Mirtahmash, Jafar Panahi
System Details: DVD, NTSC, region 1, widescreen presentation (1.78:1); Dolby digital 2.0 stereo.
Other Language: Persian dialogue with English subtitles.
Subject Headings: Panahi, Jafar Video recordings. Mirtahmasb, Mojtaba Video recordings. Political prisoners Iran Biography Video recordings. Motion picture producers and directors Iran Biography Video recordings.
Genre/Form: Documentary films.
Nonfiction films.
Experimental films.
Feature films.
Feature films-Iran.
Foreign language films-Persian.
Video recordings for the hearing impaired.
Topical Term: Political prisoners
Motion picture producers and directors
Publisher No: PTT-DV-99
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Feb 07, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Iran is perhaps one of the most surprising hotbeds of international cinema of the past two decades. That country's films (exemplified by their most famous director Abbas Kiarostami) favor simple plots, non-actors, a blur between documentary and fiction and subtle techniques that recall the Italian neo-realists. They also have to operate under a repressive regime, which director Jafar Panahi, who directed the first Iranian movie I saw "The White Balloon, ran afoul of. Accused of propaganda he was sentenced to jail time, put under house arrest and banned from making films for 20 years. In this, a friend of him films him at his house as he discusses his sentence, sketches out a proposed film and feeds his iguana. Almost the entire film takes place in his apartment. It can be a little slow, but is a compelling look at censorship, artistic freedom and the nature of film itself. Panahi does some of the filming on his camera. Other films by Panahi include "Crimson Gold" and "Mirror."

A very creative act of defiance and self-expression. An important and insightful film, but not likely to hold the interest of the average viewer.

Couldn't get through this one. Agree with uncommonreader's comment, below: self-indulgent. One wonders if the very fact of its existence is what made it such a big deal.

Jul 22, 2013
  • uncommonreader rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Indeed, this is not a film. A little self-indulgent.

May 09, 2013
  • Green_Bird_203 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I praise Jafar Panahi's passion for cinema and his love for humanity. This picture documents that, and at the same time, it reveals his funny sense of homor. You'll be delighted to meet his quiet roommate Igi and neurotic neighbor Michy.

Apr 11, 2013
  • owllover rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow. Not what I was expecting but excelent. I will be watching more of Jafar Panahi's films in the future.

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