Monday, May 14, 2012

Shah of Iran Leaves

Undated political poster from the early revolution showing the shah of Iran leaving the country.

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Reza Shah 100th Birthday

Iranian poster printed in 1977 to mark the 100th birthday of Reza Shah, 27" x 19"

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Black Friday Iranian Political Poster

8 September 1978 [17 Shahrivar 1357] Black Friday Political Poster, Iran (22.5" x 33.5")

This is another political poster I inherited from my professor friend. This date in Iranian history is considered a turning point in the development of the Iranian revolution, when dozens of people were allegedly shot by the shah's soldiers while demonstrating in the streets at Zhaleh Square in Tehran. Like a lot of other things, these events are disputed.

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Tulips of Victory 5 June 1979

Iranian Political Poster, 5 June 1979 (19.5" x 27.5")

This poster was given to me by the family of a professor of mine after he died. He had apparently collected it in Iran. It is titled The Tulips of Victory, and suggests that the fruit of the bloodshed that occurred during a riot in Iran on 5 June 1963 led to the victory of the Iranian revolution. The facts of those events are disputed, and are discussed in some detail by Fara Mansoor here.

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The Foreign Bride (1964) Iran

The Foreign Bride (1964) - (dir: Nosratolah Vahdat) Iranian film poster 27" x 19.5"

This poster is part of a lot I obtained from an eBay seller years ago. It is safe to say this poster is scarce, because that is true of most Iranian film posters. In any case it was a chance acquisition, one of a very small number of film posters I have from Iran. It was made to advertise a film released during the time of the late shah of Iran. The film itself was not one of the ones that are shown to people who study Persian in American universities, I assume because it was not perceived to have any social significance. For a collector it could be part of a topical collection of posters for films about strange brides.

Socially significant or not, according to Iranian film encyclopedist Jamal Omid the film found some commercial and critical success. In 1964 Iranian films that showed signs of religious piety were not nearly as common as they are now, and this one was praised by a Muslim cleric because of a scene in which its protagonist finds a quiet corner to pray. When published this praise helped bring audiences to theaters. It also received a letter of commendation from the Ministry of the Interior Exhibition Commission, the third Delfan Bronze Medal in the international division at the First Ministry of Education International Film Festival as well as the Second Golden Lion Medal. The film was shown at the First Tashkent Festival and was popular with audiences in the Soviet Union. It was also popular with the public in Tehran.

The film tells the story of taxi driver Hoseyn who is unable to marry his fiance because of financial problems and is working overtime. He gets involved with a foreign girl named Maria, who soon decides she wants to marry him. After a few incidents the taxi driver decides he prefers to marry his fiance.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Duke Ellington Japanese Concert Poster 1972 10 January Festival Hall Osaka

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Ria and Sekina ريا وسكينة Egyptian Oversize Poster 1953

Ria and Sekina 1953 rare oversize Egyptian film poster (19"x54")

Based on a true story, directed by Salah Abouseif, story and screenplay by Naguib Mahfouz and Salah Abouseif, art by Solly, printed by Orfand and Sons, distributed by Al-Hilal Films, cinematography Wahid Farid, starring Anwar Wagdi, Nagwa Ibrahim, Zouzou Hamdy El-Hakim, Farid Shawqi, Shukry Sarhan, Samira Ahmed, Berlanty Abdel Hamid, Reyad El Kasabgy, Shafik Galal, Said Khalil and Seraj Munir.

English Plot Summary from Film Program: Ghoulish fiends in female shape, murderesses without parallel in the annals of criminology in Egypt! Though thirty years have elapsed since the hangman's noose throttled forever their foul activities, those who remember still shake with horror when thinking of them.

The curtain is raised in Alexandria, the second largest city of Egypt, where for two consecutive years its inhabitants were living under a spell of terror: young women were disappearing into thin air one after the other, leaving absolutely no trace; the police were at their wits end and it was certain that these disappearances were caused by a most highly organized gang and could not be brought about by an individual single-handed.

117 women had disappeared and still the entire police force of Alexandria were baffled and seemingly powerless to break up the gang... until one day an apparently insignificant bit of information pricked the ears of a smart young police officer, who at the risk of his life set about to free the country from these murderers: he was certain now that all the missing victims had been murdered, and that the motive was robbery, since all the women wore on them gold jewellery.

These horrible crimes could not go on indefinitely and the old dictum 'crime does not pay' had to be proved correct once more: after breath-stopping incidents the country at last learnt with immense relief the arrest of the gang of assassins; after their arrest only 37 bodies could be found out of the 117 missing.

The scenario of the film Raya and Sekina on the basis of which the film has been made is nothing more than a complete reporting of the case, dramatically brought to screen-life following a thorough study of the Criminal Investigation Department's old files.

Watch on YouTube

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Yacoubian Building عمارة يعقوبيان (Adel Imam) - (2006) Egyptian one-sheet

The Yacoubian Building (2006) - (Adel Imam) Egyptian one-sheet

This film's namesake, the Yacoubian building, still exists in Cairo on what is now called Talaat Harb Street, but the film was made at another building about two blocks away, whose exterior is visible in the background at the top of the poster. The film was an official selection for the 2006 Tribeca, Vancouver and Chicago film festivals. On 10 December Mark Denning wrote the following plot summary for the New York Times:

"The lives and loves of a handful of Egyptian aristocrats -- some flush, others living in shabby gentility -- set the stage for this epic-scale drama, based on a best-selling Egyptian novel. The Yacoubian is a luxury apartment building which was built in Cairo in the late 30s. At the dawn of the 21st century, the Yacoubian still has charm and a reputation for elegance, but is beginning to show clear signs of decay, and the rooftop laundry facilities now double as flats for the less fortunate. Among the residents of Yacoubian are Haj Azzam (Nour El Sherif), a self-made business tycoon noted for his strict religious views. However, Azzam's public morality is a far cry from his private life, in which he uses his fortune to buy both political influence and the hand of a beautiful widow (Somaya El Khashab). Hatem Rasheed (Khaled El Sawy) is a respected newspaper editor who has a shocking secret -- he's gay, and is romantically involved with handsome young soldier. Zaki Pasha (Adel Imam) is an aging self-styled lady killer who has long lived at the Yacoubian off the largesse of his family. When his sister kicks him out of their flat, he is forced to move into the office he used for his trysts. Zaki turns to his former girlfriend Christine (Yousra) for help, but she can do nothing for him. Meanwhile, Bosnaina (Hind Sabry), who lives in one of the rooftop apartments and cleans Zaki's room, has grown tired of her relationship with her boyfriend, Taha (Mohamed Imam), who has developed a troubling interest in Muslim extremism. Omaret Yacoubian (aka The Yacoubian Building) was the first feature film from director Marwan Hamed."

Watch on YouTube (English subtitles)

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Runaway Angel فرشته فراری Googoosh 1961 Iranian one-sheet

Runaway Angel (1961) - (Googoosh) Iranian one-sheet

This is a rare 1961 Iranian poster for the first film appearance at the age of 10 by pop singer Googoosh, directed by George Obadiah. According to a review in The Iranian, in this film Googoosh plays the neglected daughter of a rich and spoiled mother who is an obsessive gambler, and a loving father who is an engineer. The message is that women should stay with their husbands and their children because without them they are lost to decadence. Googoosh is pictured in the upper right corner of the poster. Featuring Mahin Deyham and Ahmad Ghadakchian.

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