Crimson Gold

Crimson Gold


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Iranian-born Jafar Panahi is one of those directors whose very existence excites festival juries. His first two films, The White Balloon and The Circle, won awards at Cannes and Venice. Crimson Gold collected another this year.

His style is uncluttered by ego, or pace, and his camera is never intrusive. With the help of regular scriptwriter Abbas Kiarostami, he tells the story straight, using non-professional actors and shooting entirely on location.

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Crimson Gold is especially dark because so much of it was filmed at night. His protagonist (Hussein Emadeddin) delivers pizzas to rich clients in Tehran. He is a bear of a man, lumbering and large, who is watchful rather than responsive.

You learn little about his life - he has a fiancee whose constant chatter will surely drive him mad - and something of his work. This is a film of small incidents, leading to an unexpectedly violent finale.

Iranian cinema is known for its reluctance to entertain commercial values. Truth unwinds slowly through the body of the text. With the night-for-night shoots and Emadeddin's opaque performance, this is not a film that lights fires in your imagination.

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2003
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Anatomy of a murder, Iranian style.
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Keith Hennessey Brown ***1/2

Director: Jafar Panahi

Writer: Jafar Panahi

Starring: Hussein Emadeddin, Kamya Sheissi, Azita Rayeji, Shahram Vaziri, Ehsan Amani, Pourang Nakhayi

Year: 2003

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: Iran

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If you like this, try:

Behind The Sun
The Circle