The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.
WGA posthumously honors Kiarostami with Jean Renoir Award
Compiled from Dispatches
The Writers Guild of America West honored the late Iranian screenwriter-director Abbas Kiarostami with the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement.
The filmmaker, who died last July, was honored at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Feb. 19. His son, Ahmad Kiarostami, received the award on his father’s behalf.
“Abbas Kiarostami was, as Martin Scorsese put it, ‘one of those rare artists with a special knowledge of the world’,” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman. “As a founding father of the New Iranian Cinema, Kiarostami navigated tricky political and cultural terrains with courage and grace. Yet the impact of his work — and his life — is felt far outside the borders of his native land. Kiarostami’s films were fiction, were documentary, were transcendent. He expanded cinematic narrative for all of us, even as he raised the rhythms of ordinary life to the level of high art.”
His 1997 film ‘Taste of Cherry’ won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He often used a non-narrative and experimental approach.
He first made an impression outside his home country with the Koker trilogy including ‘Where is the Friend’s Home?,’ ‘Life, and Nothing More…’ and ‘Through the Olive Trees’.
‘Taste of Cherry’ shared the Cannes prize with Shohei Imamura’s ‘The Eel’.
He made ‘Certified Copy’ in Italy, starring Juliette Binoche, who won best actress at Cannes for her role. His last full-length feature, 2012’s ‘Like Someone in Love’, was made in Japan and screened in official competition in Cannes.
Previous Jean Renoir Award honorees include Italian screenwriters Suso D’Amico (2009) and Tonino Guerra (2011), Japanese filmmakers Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryûzô Kikushima, and Hideo Oguni (2013) and Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (2015).
Writers for the films ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Arrival’ won top Writers Guild of America awards, boosting the films’ chances in the upcoming Academy Awards, Hollywood’s biggest honors.
Barry Jenkins and Tarell McCraney won the original screenplay award for ‘Moonlight’ — a drama about a young black Miami man’s life and struggle to forge an identity.
Eric Heisserer took the Writers Guild of America’s prize for adapted screenplay for the science fiction film ‘Arrival’, based on a short story by Ted Chiang.
Both films are nominated for the best picture Oscar, which will be handed out at a gala ceremony in Hollywood on February 26.
Iran culture minister underlines deeper Vietnam ties
Iran’s Culture Minister Reza Salehi-Amiri, in a meeting with Fam San Chao, special envoy of the Vietnamese prime minister in the UNESCO, called for further strengthen cultural relations with Vietnam.
Noting that Iranians have a positive attitude about Vietnam in view of its rich culture, he added that Iran and Vietnam can have wide-scale regional and international cooperation in the fields of art and culture, IRNA wrote.
The minister further recalled that President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Vietnam in 2016 had a clear message for upgrading bilateral ties.
Highlighting the role of cultural diplomacy in international relations, Salehi-Amiri noted that through cultural diplomacy, nations can get acquainted with each other’s culture and traditions.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) plays an effective role in advancing cultural ties among nations and creating numerous opportunities to achieve this, he said, adding that UNESCO’s structure is cultural and not political, This, he added, will greatly help forge cultural interaction among the nations.
Salehi-Amiri, also a member of High Council of the Islamic Revolution, noted that among regional states, Iran has experienced several civilizations during its history including the Safavid, Sassanid and Achaemenid dynasties and it is an undeniable fact that Iran is the focal point of different civilizations.
“Iran is the only country in the region which accepted Islam but its language did not change to Arabic,” said the minister, arguing that the Iranian language and culture are so rich and intertwined with the nation’s identity.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese special envoy, hailed Iran’s culture and civilization, noting that many of his countrymen are familiar with the ‘One Thousand and One Night’ stories.
The ‘One Thousand and One Night’ is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islam’s Golden Age.
He further noted that the two countries can cooperate in the fields of cinema, architecture and exchanging museum items.
Vietnam was successful in cultural diplomacy and uses it as a principle in its foreign policy, he said. Vietnam has representative offices in 100 countries and shares its culture and civilization with other countries through these missions, he said.
Iranian artist, voice actor Bozorgmehri-Rad passes away at 78
Art & Culture Desk
Iranian voice actor and theater actress Iran Bozorgmehri-Rad died on Monday due to lung infection and cardiac arrest.
She was 78, ISNA reported.
She is the sister of Touran Bozorgmehri-Rad who was a veteran theater and TV actress.
Iran Bozorgmehri-Rad began her professional work when she was 19 years old. She dubbed several cinematic roles including the role of Jean Simmons in ‘Désirée’, ‘Spartacus’ and ‘Elmer Gantry’.
Iran to attend Muscat Int’l Book Fair
Iran will participate in the 22nd Muscat International Book Fair, which is slated for February 22 in the Omani capital, by displaying 400 titles of books.
In this year’s edition, 750 participants from 28 countries will put on show over 450,000 titles of book from February 22 to March 4, 2017. Of these, 590 publishing houses will take part directly and 160 through agencies in 1,200 pavilions expanding over an area of 12,114 sq.m.
The fair will include pavilions for official organizations, foreign titles, children’s books, as well as cultural, literary and art events, Mehr News Agency reported.
Iran will take part in the event with 400 book titles in the fields of contemporary and classic literature, children’s books, Iranian studies, arts and calligraphy. Iran’s pavilion will sprawl over an area of 27 sq.m.
Ebrahim Hassan-Beigi, author of the novel ‘Muhammad (PBUH)’,which is about the life of the Prophet of Islam, will be the guest of honor at Iran’s pavilion.
The book will be presented at the fair in Arabic and English.
Inviting foreign publishing houses to attend Tehran International Book Fair, discussing publishing capacities in Iran, and introducing Tehran Book Fair through catalogues and CDs are among the programs of Iran’s stalls at Muscat book fair. The 22nd Muscat International Book Fair will be held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (OCEC), under the auspices of Abdulmunim bin Mansour bin Said al Hasani, minister of information and head of the organizing committee of the fair.
Budapest museum masterpieces on display in Madrid
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Spain is presenting ‘Masterworks from Budapest: From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde’, an exhibition which, for the first time in Spain, presents an important selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and the Hungarian National Gallery.
In total the exhibition features 90 works from the 15th to the 20th centuries representing artistic schools such as the Italian, German, Flemish and Spanish and including great names from the history of art such as Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Velázquez, Tiepolo, Cézanne and Manet, in addition to interesting works by Hungarian artists, together offering visitors a comprehensive idea of the collections housed in these institutions.
Curated by Guillermo Solana, artistic director of the Museo Thyssen, and Mar Borobia, head of its Department of Old Master Painting, the exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, which is closed for renovation until March 2018, and the Hungarian National Gallery, where part of the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection is temporarily exhibited.
To be accompanied by a range of activities, this is the first event in the Museo Thyssen’s exhibition program for 2017, the year that marks the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public.