Once Upon a Time, Cinema

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Average Rating: 3.9/5

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This loving comedic homage to movies and moviemaking in Iran is probably best appreciated by those who are familiar with that country's cinematic traditions, including current censorship rules. It jumps around helter-skelter from the old silent days under the Shah to the current day, and makes fun of censorship rules, such as the current rule that women's hair is not to be shown. The leading character is known simply as "Cinematographer," and characters appear in multiple roles onscreen in re-created films from previous eras, as well as in the story itself. In some cases, the screen characters leave the movie they are in and interact with real-life people. This antic comedy also screens clips from well-known Iranian films of the past. Reviewers who were unable to speak Farsi, or Persian (as it is sometimes known) couldn't make sense of the plot, but found plenty of humorous references to international film movements to enjoy.


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