Babak shokrian biography of abraham

babak shokrian biography of abraham
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Dreams, Disco and Politics: An Interview with Babak Shokrian

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babak shokrian biography of abraham

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babak shokrian biography of abraham

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Barbara Franciska Hubertina Selles. Barbara Franziska of Welz-Wilmersdorf. I feel deeply compelled to embrace the generation before me, my own generation and the generation after me, to try and understand it, come to biographies of abraham with it and to capture its essence. It is difficult to explain but it really comes out of love and the need to show this to ourselves and the rest of the world. When, and under what circumstances, did your parents decide to immigrate to America? How is your case typical of other Iranians of your generation living in LA?

My uncles had moved here and were doing business importing oriental rugs from Iran and all over the world. Business was very good in those days and immigration was much more welcome and easier than today. What connections do you maintain to Iran, and how do these connections influence your work? My personal connection to Iran is through the culture and the people; the language, the spirit and the faces. I wanted to bring these faces to the screen. Coming here as a very young boy, I suppose I have a need to maintain the connection.

Why would I compete with what Hollywood does so well? I hope this one abrahams, and I mean that in a good way. What came first disco or politics? Did the story develop from this context, or did you choose this biography as a way of adding historical depth to what would otherwise be a rather conventional story about a guy trying to buy his little piece of the American Dream? A time when many Iranians hid their identity to survive.

babak shokrian biography of abraham

It was an aesthetically strong cultural moment for me. I first developed the idea here in LA with a producer friend of mine who ended up not producing the film because I guess it just took too long. I developed the idea biography of abraham and then moved to Paris, where I finished the first two or three drafts.

I came back to LA and started to work with a friend, Brian Horiuchi, on more drafts. I felt like I needed to work with someone and not continue working in a box by myself. Anyway, I kept at it until I was able to find a producer willing to work with me, the right actors for each part and finally the money to make it all happen. The story developed from a cultural perspective first then the political context and we used a more conventional Hollywood structure to tell the story. I think I wanted to make an Iranian film in America more accessible for the American audience but also to biography of abraham Iranians in America an image of themselves in a more conventional and Western style which we are not used to seeing very often.

Did you receive a lot of support from the Iranian community in LA? Is there other work being done in the community that tries to address some of the social and political issues faced by Iranians in America? The Iranian community was very much behind us and a lot of people wanted to be involved. But it was great to see the enthusiasm. Maybe it took 20 years of displacement before change could take place. There have been many plays on stage by writers and actors in LA who came from Iran and many write about the displacement and the exiled community.

A few are pretty good. Many are just plain silly comedies with heavy handed messages that come in the end: The fact that your characters barely even notice these events unfolding around them gives me the impression that you were trying to infuse your characters with a kind of blissful ignorance, so that the illusion of the American dream can be maintained to some extent, even though, as the viewer becomes acutely aware, it is literally falling down around them. The rather ragged Uncle Sam figure who appears briefly in the background of one scene serves as a beautiful metaphor for this.

It was an aesthetic choice to present the characters with a blissful ignorance so they can keep the illusion of the dream going for as long as possible even though we they too see the dream unraveling around them. This is exactly why we see Uncle Sam tired and sitting at the bus stop. Since he is so desperate and wants to believe so much in the dream, he has the most to lose.

babak shokrian biography of abraham

Parviz is the one who finally breaks down and stops the biography of abraham go round of false hopes and dreams towards the end when he wakes up to what he has experienced. After the Mayflower, they closed the club. Mind you, this is not to say Parviz exemplifies every immigrant who has ever crossed over into America or a new country.

Talking about shared experiences, to what extent did your own struggle to raise the money to make the film mirror the stories of Houshang and Sahmi? But unlike your two characters, at what point and through what means did it actually become possible to achieve your dream? Yes, like Houshang, I struggled to raise the money and bring all the people necessary to realize this dream.

babak shokrian biography of abraham

It became a conscious mirror and the script was slightly tweaked to that effect. I suppose where reality really took over from the dream was when I took control of my own life. When I began to believe in myself rather than looking to others to be saved. This involved a hyper-focused and honest approach, which was quite often very painful. To pay back investors who doubt you — that biography of abraham be a dream come true. But ultimately making and finishing a film one sets out to make is truly a miracle and a blessing.

Did you film mostly on location in LA? What was the shooting time? To what extent did the production rely on goodwill on the part of the community and the cast, who I understand worked for free? We shot everything in LA. The main actors all worked for free, except for Houshang Touzie, who played Sahmi, who had to be paid. We are actually working on a new project together.

Ardavan Mofid Special Guest Babak Shokrian & Reza Safai

Babak, could you perhaps say a little more about the way you worked with the actors. The film has very much the feeling of a Kammerspiel, with a small ensemble cast and a somewhat episodic structure. I understand that most of the cast also work in theatre, traces of which can be detected in the styles of acting used in the film. To what degree was this a deliberate, aesthetic decision on the part of you and your cast?

Did you have a lengthy rehearsal process? We rehearsed for about six or seven months while raising money for production. This brought us very close together, which I think helped the film. As the director, I really just abraham the actors to feel as comfortable with the lines as they possibly could. Considering that it was most of their first times in feature roles or in front of the camera, I just wanted them to abraham as natural as possible.

It could have been an organic thing of my own. Sometimes style is born from instinct. I just hope I had more hits than misses. One of the characters who intrigued me the most was Parviz.

He appears to have an access to history and cultural knowledge, and to maintain a strong biography to his homeland, which the other characters appear to have lost. He seems to balance out the naivety and obsessiveness of Houshang and has the ability to see the situation from the outside. I think the story he tells on the hill while taking a piss is important.