Global Voices has interviewed two bloggers who are involved with the magic world of movies: Reza Allamezadeh & Amir Ezati. Let's start with Mr. Allamezadeh.
Reza Allamezadeh is an Iranian famous movie director, writer and blogger. Allamezadeh, based in Nederland, teaches cinema , continues his creative career and writes his blog in Persian. Iranian filmmaker released from political imprisonment after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and living in exile in the Netherland since 1982, has been writing and publishing novels and short stories in his native Persian and making a number of films, including 10 documentaries for Dutch television, a feature-length film, and several shorts for children. Many Iranian actors and actresses have collaborated with him including Shohreh Aghdashloo an Oscar nominee. Allamezadeh has always reminded me Costa Gavras. His last work which is a play about Dr. Mossadegh has been a great success among Iranians worldwide.
A scene from play & Mossadegh in Perisan
Reaching Iranian Directly
Q: You have always communicated a social or political message in your movies, documentaries and plays. What is about blog? You consider it as a diary or you try to communicate as usual a political/social message?
A: Interesting thing about blog for someone like me whose works (films, books and…) have been strictly forbidden in his country is that I can communicate with my fellow Iranians inside the country directly and without any supervision. Remember that I have been making films and publishing books during the last four decades and never had the chance to reach my audience in Iran directly. When I started my weblog I was not sure about what I was going to do with it. But now, after more than 2 years regular blogging, I know more than ever what I am doing. It is not a diary in the common sense of the word, nor a social or political statement about recent events. It is just sharing my feelings about things that are not to be said in films or books, sharing them with a vast range of audiences inside and outside my country. I don’t send any message of any kind, in my weblog, however I try to give clearly my ideas and opinions about a novel that I am reading right now, or a film that I have seen last night, and sometimes, of course, about social or political issues that interest me.
Q: For a director like you who has been involved with communication world for years, what is added value of a blog for you?
A: I think I have partly answered this question already in the first part, however I can add to it by referring to the fact that blogging, at least the way I am doing, is more direct, more personal, more casual, even more friendly if you like, comparing with any other means of communication like making movies or writing books and so forth. I feel I am talking to friends that know me and want to hear from me what I am up to, in this or that moment.
Q: How you see the evolution of Iranian blogs in these 3-4 years?
A: The fact is that unfortunately I don’t spend enough time to read Persian weblogs because of the fact that I don’t have enough time. However in general I know that it is growing immensely and is getting more and more attention of the young generation.
Q: In your opinion how can blogs become more interactive and attractive?
A: In my idea most of the blogs are full of the written texts published in web, rather than the multi-media items. There is a fundamental difference between printed materials and multi-media blogs, even if when they deal with the same subject. When you have the possibility of adding sound tracks or video clips to your text, your article will change in all aspects. What I am trying to say is that blogs will be more attractive if the bloggers make use of the multi-media possibilities instead of just writing and publishing the texts in internet.
Allamezadeh is very busy man and he is always between projects & trips. He kindly accepted to be interviewed and proposed us to use what we can find useful in his blog.
Second interview is with Amir Ezati who belongs to the post revolution generation. He was born at the end of 60's and has lived in Iran, Turkey and Finland. He has written reviews, taught cinema and made films. The last but not the least, he has launched a specialised blog, New Wave, about cinema in Persian.
No More Censorship & Instant Contact
Q: What have been your motivations to launch a specialised blog about cinema & movies?
A: Cinema & literature are not only my profession but they are a window to look at the world around me. In reality, cinema is an instrument for me to be in touch with others. Most bloggers try to escape censorship and self censorship. Bloggers try to have a direct contact with their readers. I used to work in different cinema magazines, TV and I was also lecturing in film institutes. Permanently I was in contact with people through mails, phone calls or face to face talk. Blog gave me the chance to be in instant contact with readers. They read your writing and leave you a comment. Comments help blogger to perform his/her work and blogger in his/her turn constructs his / her own identity in the eyes of readers. Reviewing movies through a political, social and psychological point of view is very serious thing for me. May be blogging becomes more serious thing than writing sexual souvenir, jokes or political insults.
I never saw many of these people whose links are in my blog. I thought they are writing in a professional way in their blogs about movies. Mr. FarhadPour and his colleague Mr. Yousef Abazari have an original way to look at cinema and Mr. Esfandyar Monfaredzadeh a famous and great music composer. Unfortunately their blogs have become inactive.
Q: If you can write in a cinema magazine, will you stop blogging? What is added value for your blog?
A: I am writing for Rooz online each Thursday. Blog save you from editor’s censorship and I have a freedom in blogging that I am not going to change that with anything. In Iran I suffered censorship and sometimes my reviews about Iranian movies found nowhere to be published. For example I was the only one who gave a zero point to Glass Agency movie and I talked about hands behind curtain that made it. Magazine which published that went under huge pressure and I was threatened by Ansar Hezbollah.
Q: How you think about Iranian blogs evolution in artistic fields?
A: Artistic fields are not taken, seriously, in consideration in blogs and cinema blogs need a long way to go. If I had financial support, I would publish many good reviews on a site or blog because most of these works were done before revolution and are not really available.
Q: What is about movie directors and blogs?
A: I have not seen one yet. A few have sites but some times even email is not mentioned. They usually prefer to publish their words as short comments. Most artists do not pay attention to direct contact with people who follow their works. I hope they start to understand importance of direct contact and tolerate criticism.