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Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

Mohammad Reza Aslani’s
CHESS OF THE WIND

Now Playing

MUST END THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25

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NEW 4K RESTORATION

NY Times Critic's Pick

NY Times Critic's Pick

Wednesday, November 24
12:20 & 4:20 ONLY

Thursday, November 25
12:20   4:20   6:25

(1976) In an ornate, candlelit mansion in 1920s Tehran, the heirs to a family fortune vie for control of their matriarch’s estate — erupting in a ferocious final act. Screened publicly just once before it was banned, then lost for decades. “The opulent, claustrophobic interiors are reminiscent of Persian miniatures… The influence of European cinematic masters like Pasolini, Visconti and Bresson is also apparent. The sound design also stands out: wolves howl and dogs bay as they circle the house, ratcheting up the sense of menace; crows caw, jangling the nerves; heavy breathing makes the characters’ isolation in this haunted house increasingly oppressive. The soundtrack — an early work by trailblazing female composer Sheyda Gharachedaghi — takes inspiration from traditional Iranian music, and sounds like demented jazz.” – The Guardian. New 4K DCP. Approx. 93 min.

A JANUS FILMS RELEASE

Restored in 4K in 2020 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna from the original 35mm camera and sound negatives at L’Image Retrouvée laboratory (Paris) in collaboration with Mohammad Reza Aslani and Gita Aslani Shahrestani.

Reviews

“FEVERED... ELOQUENT... It’s easy to see why the repressive theocracy in Iran took exception to this movie. The intimations of lesbian romance, sure. But also, the mendacity Aslani conjures (featuring dissembling suitors, secret lovers, and more outlandish components) is palpable, at times seductive.”
– Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
Read the full review.

“A NEARLY 50-YEAR MASTERPIECE VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN TILL NOW… A COMPLEX TALE OF INTRIGUE, GREED, OPPRESSION AND MURDER.”
– Godfrey Cheshire, rogerebert.com
Read the full review.

“This film will have an impact on the world film canon – its ambition on so many different levels is extraordinary. It has a resonance far beyond an Iranian cinema niche. Audiences won’t have seen anything quite like this.”
– Robin Baker, Head Curator of the BFI National Archive

“The rediscovery of a film is seldom as fascinating a story as the film itself, but that’s the case with Chess of the Wind.”
– John Harris Dunning, The Guardian

“Eerily prescient to the country’s political moment immediately before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A shining example of how familiar genres and tones can meld together to form something that feels brand new.”
– Glenn Heath Jr., The Film Stage

Listen to a conversation about Chess of the Wind with Mohammad Reza Aslani, Margaret Bodde, Cecilia Cenciarelli, and Gita Aslani Shahrestani

Film Forum