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Films of Contemporary Iranian Cinema and Late 20th Century Comedy

This Saturday, two new film series are coming to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). One that pays tribute to an Iranian filmmaker, and another that commemorates American comedy from the late 20th century.

First up is Afterimage: Kamran Shirdel. This film series will present four of the Iranian-born filmmaker’s short films, otherwise known as “The Four Blacks”. These films are considered to have served as an influence to a generation of contemporary Iranian filmmakers. These films were made between 1965 and 1980, and they explored everything from the lives of women and children behind bars, and a portrait of a poverty-stricken district in Tehran. Shirdel will be in conversation with Hamid Naficy, acclaimed scholar of Iranian Cinema, and professor at Northwestern University.

The next film series to premiere this Saturday is Jokers Wild: American Comedy, 1960-1989. This is the second installment of the American Comedy series, which shows comedies from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, many of which have gone on to become classics. The series begins with 1960’s The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, and three more 1960s films including the Mel Brooks classic The Producers (1967).

Next up will be four films from the 1970s, beginning on March 12th, and including the Melvin Van Peebles-directed blaxploitation film Watermelon Man (1970), and another Brooks classic Young Frankenstein (which at one time was credited in inspiring Aerosmith’s hit tune “Walk This Way”). Finally, the series concludes with three films from the 1980s beginning on April 10th, and including 1980’s Caddyshack, and 1988’s Beetlejuice.

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