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O.K. Mister (1978)|
Date of birth:
1939, Teheran, Iran
Farrokh Ghaffari (dialogue), Parviz Kimiavi (writer)
Valod Aghajanian (sound), Charlie Penton (Narrator)
Iran | France
English | Persian
A LOST IRANIAN COMIC MASTERPIECE
In this hyperbolic comedy, a group of Westerners, travelling in a balloon, land in a remote Iranian village and try to Westernize the clueless villagers.
In a remote village in the “land of roses and nightingales” one day surfaces a stranger: William Knox D’Arcy. To enact his plan for exploiting the wealth and the natural resources of this land, he sends after his cronies who descend upon the village in a big balloon.
Among them is Cindrella a lady of electrifying beauty who is enlisted to keep the illiterate and lecherous villagers under her charm and make them follow D’Arcy’s plans. --IMDb
By Ramin Sadegh Khanjani
OK MISTER is one of the most bizarre films ever made in Iran - especially as a comedy. Actually there are very few good comedies in the entire history of Iranian, for a very understandable reason. Comedies are usually concerned with criticizing personalities, and the red lines and limits imposed by either government or society; and in Iran, as in many other eastern countries, transgressing these lines is not readily tolerated.
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This is of course particularly true of political comedies, the sub-genre to which OK MISTER belongs. In fact its director took advantage of the brief period of freedom of speech during the first days of the Iran revolution in 1979.
The director, Parviz Kimiavi is better known to critics for his first two features, MONGOLS and STONE GARDEN. He had also made a handful of short films and documentaries, such as P LIKE PELICAN. Though it was his first experience in making a feature comedy, he was not unfamiliar with humour before.
In some of his earlier films humorous moments are apparent, as in HILLS OF QEYTARIE, a short documentary about archaeological exploration in a historical site – which gave its name to the film - in which we hear the voice-over of the dead who once resided in the place, giving their comments.
In fact the style of comedy used in OK MISTER is very different from ordinary Iranian comedies. Most Iranian comedies, produced for a popular audience, have consisted of cheap jests, like jokes on human deformities, or poking fun at naïve and simple-minded people, without any serious idea hidden behind them.
They are made just for entertainment, and are usually frowned upon by intellectuals. On the other hand, OK MISTER is apparently a real intellectual comedy, of a type of which other examples are rare – among them comedies directed by such intellectual directors as Ebrahim Golestan (The Ghost Valley's Treasure Mysteries) , Farrokh Ghaffari (FALCONET) and Jalal Moghadam (SAMAD AND FOOLAD-ZEREH, THE OGRE).
None of these films won popularity with Iranian spectators. In some respects, OK MISTER has some similarities with the first of these. I haven't seen Golestan's film, but I know his book on which the film was based. MYSTERY is also a political comedy, criticising the imposed rapid modernization of Iran under the Shah's regime and squandering the budget of the country, the wealth gained from sudden increases in oil prices in the 70s .
In a similar fashion OK MISTER deals with the problem of modernization in third world countries. -- Read more here
In an apparent departure from the more serious tone of his previous films, director Kimiaivi plays freely with elements of farce to create a scathing indictment of the consequences of forced modernization.
The film's symbolism is insightful and sharp enough to shed light on the tortured post-revolutionary relations between Iran and the West.
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A village in Persia. William Darcy, an English man, wanders in oil wells. The peasants of village take him for the devil and run away when they see him. Until the day an airship lands there. Aboard, an archaeologist, a journalist, and a woman called Cinderella.
Un village en Perse. William Darcy, un Anglais, erre au fond des puits de pÃ©trole. Les paysans du village le prennent pour le diable et s'enfuient Ã sa seule vue... Jusqu'Ã ce qu'un ballon dirigeable atterrisse Ã cet endroit. A son bord un archÃ©ologue, un journaliste et une femme qui se prÃ©nomme Cendrillon. * * * * *
Cast: Erika Maz, Farokh Ghaffary, Charlie Penton, Terry Graham, Asghar Saida, Hossein Shavoshi
Cinematography: Mohammad Zarfam
Iraj Gorguin .... executive producer
Parviz Kimiavi .... producer
Selected filmography of Parviz Kimiavi
- Iran Is My Homeland - Iran saray-e man ast (1999)
- O.K. Mister (1979)
- The Garden of Stones - Baghe sangui (1976)
- The Mongols - Mogholha (1973)
- P Like Pelican - P mesle pelican (1972)
- OH, Protector of the Gazelle - Ya zamene Ahu (1970)
- The Hills Of Queytarie - Tappehaye Queytariye (1969)
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