A Wedding Suit
(Lebasi bara ye aroussi)
Introduction and Lecture
Godfrey Cheshire is a New York–based filmmaker and critic who has written extensively about Iranian cinema and is the author of the new book Conversations with Kiarostami, which he will sign following the screening. After the showing of A Wedding Suit, he will speak about this and other restored Kiarostami films that have rarely been seen outside Iran.
Mohammad Fazih Motaleb, Massud Zand Begleh, Mehdi Nekui,
Through almost purely visual means, Kiarostami creates an O. Henry–like story of a wedding suit “borrowed” from the tailor’s for a night, and uses it to explore the world of working youths in the shops and streets of Tehran. To outward appearances, the boys in question have only to wait on adults, delivering tea from the cafe or being a tailor’s assistant. But with adults out of earshot, an active subculture thrives, a hive of youthful desire for that which is perceived as unattainable, whether it is a girl, as in Experience, or, in this film, a bespoke suit made for a middle-class mama’s boy but coveted by the fast-talking street kids who give the film its life, its pathos, and its subtle class message.
Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1973
An adolescent boy, old for his years like so many of Kiarostami’s (or Iran’s) working children, juggles a job as a photographer’s assistant, a first crush, and the urge to sample adulthood’s temptations (cigarettes and movies). This beautiful exercise in storytelling virtually without words is shot with the crispness and stark contrasts of Kiarostami’s still photography. But this vista teems with humanity—not only that of the boy, who is essentially without family, but of the adults he encounters (and who invariably let him down) on the urban pathways he courses. In his young actor, Kiarostami found a face and soul made for the screen.