FilmScene, 118 E College St.
Iran / USA | 2014 | 7:53 min | 16mm
Friday Mosque is a silent meditation on the Islamic prayer ritual, Namaaz, through motion–water is the core, but light is the cause. Shot on high-contrast black and white 16mm film, Azadeh Navai hand processes the negative and painstakingly contact-prints numerous foot-long strips of celluloid. The resulting image quivers and pulses. Enlarged film grain nearly obliterates the already abstracted image. There exists both a tension and serenity in the flickering frame. Every element is preparing for and anticipating the faithful soul that is summoned to the everyday practice. The silent tune of the calling, Azan, has overtaken.
Remembering the Pentagons
Iran / USA | 2015 | 22:51 min | 16mm
Remembering the Pentagons is a slow, rhythmic and contemplative journey into filmmaker Azadeh Navai’s earliest childhood memories. With an old 16mm Bolex and a hand-made pinhole camera, Navai returns to Tehran and Esfahan, Iran, where the perceptions and recollections of places, emotions, and scents serve as vehicles through which she exposes a deeply personal landscape. She asks – what is the texture of memory? In what ways does time – the light, wind, and air of history – wear upon the monuments and the images of the past? Her camera, gliding through mosques and the heady wares of a bazaar, provides grounding to narrative themes of childhood wonder and familial tragedy. But, as in memory, there is trouble in the image. The convulsions of recollection are perceptible even in the shifting grains of the film image – kaleidoscopic in their geometries of instability and flux.
Born in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, Navai seeks to access a time of personal turmoil both for her family and for her birth country in this poetic capturing of place, history and memory.
Logan’s Syndrome, editor/producer (15 min excerpt)
USA | 2017 | 80 min | digital
Directed by Nathan Meier
Logan Madsen is one in a billion. Literally. Despite suffering from an incredibly rare genetic disorder called Miller Syndrome—a condition that affects fewer than thirty people in the world—Logan is able to create stunning, hyper-realistic paintings. Beginning as a painter of pretty flower portraits, Logan’s work evolved into an audacious series of pictures boldly depicting his disabilities. After years longing simply to “blend in”, Logan’s dynamic paintings dare the world to not just look, but to stare. Logan’s Syndrome takes us on a fascinating journey, as Logan—like a modern Don Quixote— takes on the windmills of his life: his disability, the break-up of his “perfect” Mormon family and his eternal search for romantic love. But it’s Logan’s humor and courageousness that ultimately draw us into his world—as we experience what it’s like to be Logan, shattering everything we think we know about disability, while reinforcing what it means to be human.
The Yellow Curtain (4 min excerpt)
Iran / USA | 2017 | 16 min | digital
The Yellow Curtain is an imaginary acquaintance between two people: one being my grandfather, a high ranking general of the late Shah, and the other being a physician-turned writer of Iranian folk-noir stories, Gohar-morad. During the 1979 revolution, they were both sentenced to jail. Upon their release, one stayed in the capital and the other fled the country, never to return. I seek to understand these two men by searching their lives and quoting them; one through interviews and one through writings that have remained.