This is Not a Film

This is Not a Film

A study on the state of Iranian cinema by Jafar Panahi, who at the time of writing has been imprisoned by the Iranian government. 4.0 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
This is Not a Film

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Cast Jafar Panahi
Studio .
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 75 mins
 

A study on the state of Iranian cinema by Jafar Panahi, who at the time of writing has been imprisoned by the Iranian government.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

The not-film becomes not-form, a liberated, humanising bricolage of serendipitous incident: the prowling pet iguana Igi, phone calls to lawyer or family, fireworks seen from a balcony, finally a young apartment-block neighbour whom the director joins on a trash-collecting tour. This tour ends on the ground floor, where the view of blazing fires outside the gates may be pyrotechnics gone pistol-happy but also seem threateningly, emblematically apocalyptic.

22/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Panahi's title hints at the Magrittean absurdity of what he has to do to get round the law. Technically, it is the work of its cameraman Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, and Panahi is not being "interviewed" but rather speaking lines, like an actor, on the subject of film-making. The result is a heartbreaking, agonising study of loneliness ... He tries and fails to look after a neighbour's querulous pet dog, which he has to return to its owner because it is upsetting his pet iguana, Igi. His wry sense of humour is impressive, and his elegant dignity is profoundly moving.

29/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Critics have sometimes, unfairly, ranked the realist Panahi below his former employer Abbas Kiarostami, who has special auteur cachet as a formal innovator. Panahi has seemed less experimental, until now. His new work plays mischievous games with our idea of what a film is – while being a very direct and compelling statement about his current plight ... a superb piece of cinema, and something that's not cinema – passionate resistance, a humorous cri de coeur, a message in a bottle sent to the world, and a way for Panahi to keep his hand in.

01/04/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

There is unlikely to be a wittier, braver, more serious film shown in Britain this year than the 51-year-old Iranian director Jafar Panahi's This is Not a Film. Made while under house arrest in Tehran using an iPhone and a digital video camera, it's an act of defiance in the face of the arbitrary, vindictive, capricious, utterly humourless regime of the ayatollahs and President Ahmadinejad.

25/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The film, smuggled out to France in a cake, was a late submission at Cannes last year, and a tasty treat it is.

30/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

What it all adds up to is a ruefully witty essay on what does or does not constitute cinema: Jean-Luc Godard grapples endlessly with these debates, but Panahi’s invigorating directness cuts to the chase.

30/03/2012

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Time Out

Cath Clarke

What a waste: here’s a filmmaker in his prime resorting to make-believe directing in his front room. But Panahi won’t be stopped. He’s constantly pointing the video on his iPhone at whatever’s in view ... What’s worth mentioning is how unexpectedly funny a lot of this is. You haven’t seen a scenery-chewing, scene-stealing supporting role until you’ve seen Igi, Panahi’s four-foot long iguana, slithering diva-like into shot.

29/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Panahi, “like hairdressers who do each other’s hair when there are no customers” can’t help but pick up a camera and poke fun at censorship, and he makes an extraordinary mini-movie in the elevator with the student who takes out the rubbish in his apartment building, as fires burn outside in the streets.

30/03/2012

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Total Film

Tom Dawson

Its firework-laden finale shows how cinema thrives on spontaneity.

19/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Louis Wise

Some would struggle to call this a film at all (no plot, little structure); yet this essay of sorts, sometimes witty, often moving, is essential to film’s concerns.

01/04/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Even as he mourns his captivity, [Panahi] creates a barbed and instructive film-making masterclass, a Day For Night in miniature. While This Is Not a Film is ultimately a work of defiance, its humour shouldn't be overlooked.

29/03/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

No, this is not a film in the orthodox sense. But it is better than many pieces of work that confidently claim to be.

20/03/2012

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