Samantha Culp

Rangha – Abbas Kiarostami on Color for Children

The fabulous Belog site has unearthed this great early 1976 short of Abbas Kiarostami, entitled “Rang-ha” (“Colors” in Persian). As the title suggests, “by showing a series of different-coloured objects, the film aims to familiarize very young children with the various colours, and ends with a shot of a blackboard, a symbol of learning.” (From the film’s Wikipedia synopsis) For those of us who already know our colors, it’s just fun to watch a world-class auteur bring his A-game to what is essentially a Sesame Street segment.

In related news, this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival features a special retrospective of Kiarostami, and I was honored to write the catalogue notes for this program. See more details here, and below:

“The 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival will screen Kiarostami’s latest work – Certified Copy, a romantic story between a British writer (William SHIMELL) and a French woman (Juliette BINOCHE) in Italy. Certified Copy competed for the Palme d’Or at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, where Juliette BINOCHE was awarded the Best Actress Award for her outstanding performance.

To celebrate the breakthrough that KIAROSTAMI has made in his latest production, HKIFF will present a selection of KIAROSTAMI’s films from different periods of time, offering the public an opportunity to review his classic productions over the past 40 years, including:

* The Bread and Alley (Noon va Koucheh) 1970
* The Traveller (Mosafer) 1974
* Where is the Friend’s Home? (Khane-ye doust kodjast?) 1987
* Homework (Mashgh-e Shab) 1989
* Close-up (Nema-ye Nazdik) 1990
* And Life Goes On… (Zendegi va digar hich) 1991
* Through the Olive Trees (Zire darakhatan zeyton) 1994
* Taste of Cherry (Ta’m-e gilass) 1997
* The Wind Will Carry Us (Bād mā rā khāhad bord) 1999
* ABC Africa 2001
* Ten (Dah) 2002
* Five (Panj) 2004
* 10 on Ten 2004
* Shirin 2008
* Certified Copy 2010”

Melbourne Memories of Hong Kong Cinema’s Golden Age

Some fantastic posters on the Phantoms of Pulp blog from the 1980s/90s heyday of Hong Kong film, as experienced from Melbourne, Australia.

HK’s movie industry was so prolific during this period, the author tells us, that “…in Melbourne, the Chinese exhibitors’ solution was to rent additional screens from the English language chains (Hoyts and the Russell Cinemas chain, for example) to play their surplus. For a die-hard fan like myself, it was possible to see between four and eight new releases each week. I have strange memories of frantically driving into the city with my brother on two or three weeknights per week to catch releases that were guaranteed no more than a seven day theatrical run…”

More reveries here.

Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong & Mei Lanfang Vintage Photo

(full size image here)

An amazing photograph from 1935 of Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and Mei Lanfang standing in front of Claridge’s hotel in London. One can only imagine how cool their tea-time that afternoon must have been.

Courtesy of the “Room 26: Cabinet of Curosities” blog, which features new acquisitions, unique documents, and visual and textual curiosities from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.