20th Century Ruffian [lutiye qarne bistom] (1968) - (Reza Beyk Imanverdi) Iranian film poster
Pictured is a 27.5" x 13" Iranian poster by an unknown designer made to promote the 1968 Reza Safai film 20th Century Ruffian [لوطی قرن بیستم luti-ye qarn-e bistom] starring Reza Beyk Imanverdi based on a screenplay by Kamal Danesh with cinematography by Reza Anjamruz. The film was produced by the Ferdowsi Film Company, distributed by the Namayesh Company. Plot summary: Hesam [Ahmad Ghadakchian] was a wealthy young man, quite serious and straight-laced. His driver Reza [Reza Beyk Imanverdi] met two girls who had come from Esfahan and Tehran looking for work. The driver found work for them in a cabaret. His boss became interested in one of them named Maryam; she gradually taught him to relax and enjoy himself and in the end she married him. The word luti [لوطی] in the Persian title is important for understanding the role of Hassan's driver, the film's titular luti; it has cultural meaning that goes beyond "ruffian." Encyclopedia Iranica has an article by Willem Floor about the local context of the word and the potential cinematic meaning of a 20th Century luti. The driver's involvement finding work for the two girls who have come to Tehran from out of town is the kind of informal role the traditional luti might have played. The drawing of actor Dariush Asadolah in the bottom right of the poster, with his ill-fitting pants, his rosary and his character's scripted tendency to emphasize repeatedly that he has a role to play, tell us he is another luti, a fringe character in society who is informally expected to perform certain functions. Most of the characters in this film have loosely defined roles which they try to elevate through negotiation and insinuation.
Cast and crew: Reza Safai, Reza Beyk Imanverdi, Kamal Danesh, Reza Anjamruz, Abdollah Butimar, Sheida, Ahmad Ghadakchian, Monireh Nejati, Farangis Foruhar, Samad Sabahi, Yedi, Dariush Asadzadeh