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I’ve always loved Arthur Penn’s movies.

For me and my generation he has been one of the strongest influences coming from modern American cinema. It was Jonathan Demme who put us in touch, and for me it was an opportunity to get to know him and his films better. We met many times from the beginning of 2005 onward, to talk about his personal life, his films and American cinema. I never thought about showing these recordings, because in the end they seemed too personal, until the time, nine years later, Enrico Ghezzi persuaded me to do it.

Amir Naderi

director, d.o.p., producer: Amir Naderi

production: Alphaville Film Inc. New York

post-production: Mia Arfuso, Donatello Fumarola

Italian distribution: Polittico

USA, 2005-2014 - DVcam transferred in DCP - 4/3 - col. - 355’

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Born in Abadan (Iran) in 1946, Amir Naderi became interested in photography and cinema at an early age.

As a filmmaker he was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson's photography, as well as the aesthetics of Italian neorealist cinema, such as location shooting, the use of nonprofessional actors, looser narrative structures, and a focus on the plight of poor and working-class people. Naderi made his directorial debut with Khoda Hafez Rafiq (Goodbye Friend) in 1971, immediately becoming one of the most influential figures in new Iranian cinema: it's he who pushed his friend Abbas Kiarostami to shoot a film (Tajrobeh, 1973) based on one of his screenplays.

He broke onto the international scene with classics such as Davandeh (The Runner, 1985), presented at the 42nd Venice International Film Festival, and Aab, baab, khaak (Water, Wind, Dust, 1986). After the Islamic Revolution, Naderi was the first important Iranian director to leave his country, moving to New York.

His American films, which are incomparable in their ability to capture a certain evanescent spirit of New York, were presented in important festivals, such as Venice in 1993 (the feature-length film Manhattan by Numbers), Cannes in 1997 (A.B.C… Manhattan, in the “Un Certain Regard” section), then Tribeca, Sundance, New Directors/New Films, and Turin Film Festival, in which he participated in 2002 with Marathon – Enigma in Manhattan and in 2005 with Sound Barrier. Naderi returned to the Venice Film Festival in 2008 with Vegas: Based on a True Story, in competition, but also in 2011 with Cut, filmed in Tokyo, his new house, where he found a group of friends (among them, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinji Aoyama) willing to help him in his obsessive, relentless pursuit of cinema.

Awarded as Best Director at the 21st Japanese Professional Movie Awards, Naderi was the first foreigner to win this prize. His films have been selected for retrospectives by museums and film festivals around the world. His last appearance in Venice was in 2012 as a member of the jury for “Orizzonti”, before showing in 2014 Mise en Scène with Arthur Penn (a Conversation) in the “Classics” section.

In 2016 he was back to the Venice Film Festival to present Monte, his first Italian film, and to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award, dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.

mise en scène with arthur penn
(a conversation) 

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