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Marian Smith

This category contains 6 posts

Iran's "A Separation" Wins Big at Golden Globes [& the Oscars!]

Last night at the Golden Globe Awards, Iran’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film, “A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin)” took home the coveted prize. The film has been generating buzz ever since its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last February, and last night’s win positions the film for a successful showing at the Oscars … Continue reading »

Green Lighting "The Iran Job"

I recently came across a trailer for a documentary called “The Iran Job,” which follows Kevin Sheppard, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as he gets recruited to play point-guard for the Iranian Super League’s A.S. Shiraz basketball team. The cameras roll as Kevin attempts to negotiate his new surroundings, and, as the filmmakers … Continue reading »

“With time suspended, there is no beginning or end, only endless flight:” A new take on ‘Attar

The Conference of the Birds by the 12th century Sufi poet ‘Attar is hands down my favorite Persian epic poem. ‘Attar’s sweeping tale relates the story of a flock of birds who, under the guidance of the hoopoe, traverse seven valleys in their quest to find the Simurgh, their “true king” who resides on the … Continue reading »

The Treacherous Territory of Ta’arof

As a student (and sometimes teacher) of foreign languages, I can attest to the difficulties that learners face in pursuit of that most elusive of second (third, fourth, fifth) language acquisition goals: sociolinguistic competence. Sociolinguistic competence, or the ability to use the appropriate linguistic skills (such as register) to negotiate social situations without causing offense … Continue reading »

An Evening with Mohsen Namjoo at MIT

On Saturday, November 19, Iranian musician Mohsen Namjoo (dubbed “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by the New York Times) played to a packed house at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Known for his biting, satirical lyrics and his musical adaptations of poetry from Rumi, Hafez, and ‘Attar, Namjoo’s sound can best be described as eclectic: his songs … Continue reading »

Chicago’s Siskel Film Center holds 22nd Annual Festival of Films from Iran

October in Chicago was a good time for fans of Iranian cinema. The Siskel Film Center hosted the 22nd Annual Festival of Films from Iran, a month-long event dedicated to showing the latest output from both the who’s-who (Dariush Mehrjui) and the up-and-comers (Maryam Keshavarz) in the world of Iranian filmmaking. This year’s roster boasted … Continue reading »

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