CMES Film Screenings at The Loft Film Fest

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CMES Film Screenings at The Loft Film Fest

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies
October 30, 2018

The Loft Film Fest runs from Nov. 8-15 at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is co-sponsoring two films in the festival, "Distant Constellation" and "3 Faces."

Admission is $10 for general, $8 for Loft members.

"Distant Constellation": 

Venture into a Turkish retirement home, where the mischievous, wistful, and life-hardened residents live out an almost absurdly cyclical existence, a place where time seems to hang still and notions of limbo lurk around every corner.

In front of director Shevaun Mizrahi's immaculate, patient, meditative camera, there are stories of childhood pain, like the one the old Armenian lady tells in a whisper. She dozes off mid-sentence, and then comes back. "I drop like that," she says. A blind photographer fiddles with his flash as he points his own camera back at us. A pianist flirts with the filmmaker, and finally proposes to her, somewhat hesitant. Two men ride the elevator, up and down, talking about their families. Outside the retirement home, there's a new building under construction, transforming the landscape that surrounds this oddly secluded space, and the young workers there talk about their future plans. In "Distant Constellation," elderly denizens take refuge in their cherished memories, and move between resignation and hope, in an immaculately composed, poetic, and sometimes playful look at the aging process.

Director:
Shevaun Mizrahi

Country of origin:
Turkey/U.S.

Language:
Turkish/English/French/Armenian (English subtitles)

Year/length:
2017/80 minutes

Screenings:

  • Friday, November 9th, at 11:45am
  • Wednesday, November 14th, at 1:15pm

Click here for more information.

"3 Faces": 

Acclaimed director Jafar Panahi's ("The White Balloon"; "Offside") fourth outing since the Iranian government sentenced him to a 20-year filmmaking ban has Panahi and actress Behnaz Jafari playing themselves in a road movie.

It starts when Jafari receives a disturbing video in which a young woman named Marziyeh, distraught over her family's refusal to allow her to leave home and study acting, hangs herself. Frantic but unsure whether the clip is real or simply a tasteless ploy on Panahi's part to pitch her a forthcoming screenplay about suicide, the actress abandons her film set with the director. They embark on a journey across Iran to a remote, mountainous village in hopes of locating the girl unharmed. Along the way, they are subject to a number of peculiar encounters that touch on Marziyeh's plight: Mundane occurrences (a road blocked by an injured bull, a late-night stroll) become lessons in patriarchal masculinity, while the search for her widens to involve another legendary actress who lives in independent solitude at the edge of the village. Yet it all comes together as an enchanting, deceptively simple meditation on freedom in art and life from a director who has fought hard for his own.

Director:
Jafar Panahi

Country of origin:
Iran

Language:
Persian (English subtitles)

Year/length:
2018/100 minutes

Screenings:

  • Sunday, November 11th, at 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, November 13th, at 5:15pm

Click here for more information.

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