Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bahram Baizai refuses to stage the play of his dreams in the upcoming International Fajr Theater

For those who do not know Bahram Beizai; I would describe him as Iran's Stanley Kubrick, with an added bonus: He's also Iran's Brecht!

Those of you who know about world-success of Iranian cinema have most likely not heard about Beyzaie (*). He is an uncompromising perfectionist, whose depth of art and vision often gets him in trouble with Iran's censors. But, Baizai loves the people and people love him. He is a master of Iranian theater, and literature; and although he is not banned from teaching in Tehran university, still much of Iranian theater owes its credit to him.

After a decade long absence from cinema, he was finally given permit to make one of his least favorite screenplays (When We Were All Asleep, 2008). Nevertheless it was an instant success. If you read that article, you would recognize how "hungry" Baizayi has been to talk to people through screen and stage.

By divine's!!! miracle, SUDDENLY Ahmadinejad's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance decided to grant Beizai permission to stage his "dream play" Sohrab-Koshi (written 13 years ago); which has been suffering censorship denials for several years.

However, Baizai has decided to "postpone staging this play to better times".

Ahmadinejad will soon realize that he has been standing on the dignity, genius and credit of many a great Iranian who will no longer allow him to stage his propaganda on their account!

* Different spellings of name بيضايي are intentional.

Update: One of the many reasons (Persian) why Baizai decided to not stage the play was the censor's fussing about the name "Sohrab-Killing", fearing that it will invoke the memory of Sohrab A'rabi who was killed in recent protests. (note that Sohrab-Killing act derives from the story in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (Epic of kings))


Pedestrian said...

Beyzaie is a brilliant man!

You know, the ONLY religious movie made in the past 30 years worth watching was Rooz-e Vaghe-e which he wrote!

The IRI wasn't even able to make a decent movie about its own love interests without enlisting the help of a ... I don't know what he is! but I'm sure he's not a devout Shi'a!

Naj said...

I know rooz-e Vaghehe was popular; but I never saw it. But Baizai's the one who has written plenty on the origins of Persian passion play (ta'ziyeh); so this is not so much of a religious representation for Baizai. I heard he was Zoroasterian, actually! (not that I care what he is; thus not something I have researched :) )

Pedestrian said...

me too! I couldn't care less. That's why I don't know.

IRIB airs Rooz-e Vaghe-e 10 times every Ashura. It's a religious film to them. And to those of us who grew up watching it again and again, it remains the only religiously themed movie on IRIB that's been worth watching.

Beyzaie wrote and Shahram Asadi directed. Neither are considered IRIB "insiders". They can't even make a stupid movie about their own idols.

Naj said...

now i must watch it; off to persian hub.

Ped, do you know about "khodsoozi" in Eelam?

Pedestrian said...

both tabnak and ayanadehnews had headlines about the nuclear shit that was agreed today.
Now both have taken them down and ayandehnews just has something about how "the iranian team has asked that the details of these negotiations not be released until they are signed in Tehran."


Naj said...

what nuclear shit?

Screenshot is my friend these days!

Pedestrian said...

I meant negotiations :-P

and no, I haven't heard about new khodsoozis :(

Naj said...

I heard they have a tentative agreement about nuclear thing ... it's bullshit this whole nuclear crap!

Re Eelam; I am working on a project and I read that apparently self-burning is common (as a sign of protest) so since I am a southeastern Gal, I thought I should ask you the southwestern one ;)

The only piece of Iran I have never seen is Khuzestan :(
War broke; and then I left :'(

Pedestrian said...

Naj, I know about the khodsoozi of war vets, and I also know of the khodsoozi of Arab girls (two of my aunts are high school councilors in Ahvaz and they tell the most horrific stories, needless to say, they don't live ordinary lives, and are always caught up in the family life of their students) ... but nothing about Eelam.

The better you don't see it! Each time I got I cry an ocean seeing the way it has gone to waste ... As a small example, Choghazanbil is a 5-6000 year old temple that was in mint condition when they uncovered it ... It's Magnificent. Now each time I go, a different part is missing :(