a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Beauty confronts violence: Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar

Posted on the January 29th, 2010

“There’s no such thing as an innocent bystander anywhere on earth,” Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar says, explaining why she uses art to challenge others to join her in acts of political provocation. From Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

Video intro:

Her parents were opposition politicians who were murdered in Tehran in 1998. Since then,their daughter Parastou Forouhar has used both judicial and artistic means to fight for an investigation into their murder.Her struggle has put Forouhar,an installation artist living in Germany,under increasing pressure. She is met by Iran’s secret police each time she visits her parents’ graves. Forouhar talks with ARTS.21 about recent developments in Iran,the power of the opposition movement and the future of the Islamic state.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on Beauty confronts violence: Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar

(3rd) Occasional U.S. news media round-up on presidential race

Posted on the July 15th, 2008

Who’s running the campaign?

They’re helping Obama make the day-to-day decisions about his campaign, they’re the team known as his brain trust. They’re all profiled in another long, informative Rolling Stone article offering a close-up look inside the Democratic Party Presidential nominee’s campaign (“Obama’s Brain Trust” by Tim Dickinson, July 10, 2008)

Talking about Iran and a couple of other things

Last week when Iran officials sent out saber-rattling photos of test launches of their missiles, the U.S. media immediately asked Obama for his reaction. See summary and seven-minute video of Obama’s response here (“Obama’s Iran TV Show Tour: More Diplomacy” The Huffington Post, July 9, 2008).

What is “outrage activism” and why is it so popular now?

Activist and Presidential race blogger Al Giordano harshly criticizes the “outrage activism” now so popular in the U.S. (“The Sky Didn’t Fall” The Field, July 10, 2008).

Getting out of Iraq

In yesterday’s New York Times, Obama wrote an op-ed about his proposed timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq (“My Plan for Iraq” by Barack Obama, July 14, 2008).

You can please some of the people…*

In the past couple of weeks, Obama drew a lot of criticism from supporters and critics alike for some recent policy decisions. In this commentary piece from the Oxford University Press blog, a political science scholar offers his views on Obama’s new “flip flopping” (“The Anti-Intellectual Candidates” by Elvin Lim, July 14, 2008).

English only not a good thing

We should have every child speaking more than one language, Obama said during a campaign speech last week.

“It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here. They all speak English, they speak French, they speak German, and then we go over to Europe and all we can say is Merci beaucoup.”

The Democratic Party nominee won a laugh but he was serious. Watch short short video here.

“Yes We Can” global style

Featuring one hundred people, and twenty-three languages, this video below offers tribute to Obama’s famous Yes We Can speech and to the original, megahit tribute video by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas:

(See here for previous round-up)

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on (3rd) Occasional U.S. news media round-up on presidential race

Abbas Kiarostami and beauties of Iran

Posted on the April 3rd, 2008

Yesterday, following a link to a link to a link in classic surfing style, I spotted news of an upcoming exhibition in Milan of Abbas Kiarostami’s celebrated “Snow White” series. It’s a collection of b&w photos of trees and snow that the Iranian filmmaker has taken over the years since 1978. The exhibition is at Ciocca Arte Contemporanea museum. The show opens this week on April 5 and will run through May 31.

A couple of years ago, a friend who writes about film invited me to a special screening of Kiarostami’s just-released film Tickets (2005). The event, for young Italian film and acting students, was held on a sound stage at Cinecittà Studios in Rome. Kiarostami was present and, following the screening, took questions from the audience. He had the confidence and world weary attitude of a veteran master filmmaker at the top of his profession, but he truly was kindness itself, I remember, in the patient and close attention he gave to the students and their never-ending queries.

In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle online last year featuring an interview with Kiarostami, reporter Jonathan Curiel wrote this intro of the revered filmmaker:

In a critics’ poll taken a few years ago by Sight & Sound magazine, Abbas Kiarostami was ranked the fourth most important filmmaker of modern times — behind Wong Kar-Wai (No. 3), Krzysztof Kieslowski (No. 2) and Martin Scorsese. Asked about Kiarostami, Scorsese once said, “Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema.” (“Kiarostami/Iranian director’s work from cinema to photos on display in Berkeley retrospective exhibition” by Jonathan Curiel, SFGATE, July 9, 2007)

Kiarostami made the short video above, Romeo, as part of a celebration of the 60th anniversary last year of the Cannes Film Festival. He was among a group of thirty-five international auteurs invited to make a three-minute vignette on the “theme of cinema” for the celebratory occasion.

You can see an interview with Kiarostami in which he talks about the video here (“To Each His Own Cinema Interviews,” At The Movies website).

Tagged with: , ,
Reader Comments (1) - Post a Comment