Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 87: Thu Mar 28

A Moment Of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, 1996): ICA Cinema, 7.30pm
This screening is from the excellent A Nos Amours film club run by film makers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts. You can find out more about them via their Facebook page here.

Here is their introduction to tonight's programme:
'Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s cinema is tricky to define or pin down: what exactly is the relationship between fact and fantasy? Is it a realist fantasy or documentary? Cinema and everyday life blend dizzyingly, reflexively into one another: in A Moment of Innocence characters pitch for parts they are playing in the very film we are watching, the past is re-staged and re-enacted in the present, and the director pops up in front of camera (or at least his stand in!). Superficially this is a story about a past misdemeanor reinterpreted through the lens of hindsight. Mark Cousins has championed this remarkable, funny, searingly beautiful film in his Story of Film. Unavailable in the UK on DVD we are delighted to present on 35mm what we believe is a very great film. Screening with Abbas Kiarostami's joyous and playful short The Chorus.'

Chicago Reader review:
'This is one of the best features (1996) of the prolific and unpredictable Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a dozen of whose films are showing at the Film Center this month. It's also one of his most seminal and accessible--a reconstruction of a pivotal incident during his teens. At the time the shah was in power, and Makhmalbaf was a fundamentalist activist. He stabbed a policeman, was shot and arrested, and spent several years in prison. Two decades later, his politics quite different, Makhmalbaf was auditioning people to appear in his film Salaam Cinema, and among them was the policeman, now unemployed. The two of them wound up collaborating on this film, which tries to reconcile their separate versions of what happened with separate cameras. No doubt it was prompted in part by Abbas Kiarostami's remarkable Close-up (1990), another eclectic documentary that reconstructs past events--a hoax that involved Makhmalbaf himself--with two cameras (showing at the Film Center on April 24). But this is no mere imitation; it's a fascinating humanist experiment and investigation in its own right, full of warmth and humor as well as mystery. The original Persian title, incidentally, translates as "Bread and Flower."
Jonathan Rosenabum
Here is an extract.

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