4K Restoration of Long-Lost Iranian Film 'Chess of the Wind' Trailer
"My lady, you should have confronted him earlier." Janus Films + Criterion Collection have released a new trailer for a 4K restoration of a long-lost, banned-from-the-world Iranian film titled Chess of the Wind, originally Shatranj-e baad. It first premiered in 1976 at the Tehran Film Festival, and has been updated and restored from the original copy for a 4K re-release this year. What's it about? The first lady of a noble house has died and now there is conflict between the remainders for taking over her inheritance. Starring Fakhri Khorvash, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Akbar Zanjanpour, and Academy Award-nominated Shohreh Aghdashloo. Chess of the Wind screened publicly just three times before it was then banned by Iran's new government and then lost for decades – until the original negative was discovered by the director's children in a junk shop and restored under the auspices of Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project. The restoration had its world premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, then was featured at the New York Film Festival and London Film Festival. Opening in cinemas in the US starting later this fall. This looks better than ever.
Here's the 4K restoration trailer (+ poster) for Mohammad Reza Aslani's Chess of the Wind on YouTube:
In an ornate, candlelit mansion in 1920s Tehran, the heirs to a family fortune gather and vie for control of their matriarch's estate — erupting in a ferocious final act. "The opulent, claustrophobic interiors are reminiscent of Persian miniatures… The influence of European cinematic masters like Pasolini, Visconti and Bresson is also apparent. The sound design also stands out: wolves howl and dogs bay as they circle the house, ratcheting up the sense of menace; crows caw, jangling the nerves; heavy breathing makes the characters’ isolation in this haunted house increasingly oppressive. The soundtrack — an early work by trailblazing female composer Sheyda Gharachedaghi — takes inspiration from traditional Iranian music, and sounds like demented jazz." Chess of the Wind, originally known as Shatranj-e baad, is both written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Reza Aslani, his feature directorial debut at the time. The film originally premiered at the Tehran Film Festival in 1976, but was never released after being banned soon after. Janus Films will debut the 4K restoration of Chess of the Wind in select US theaters starting on October 29th, 2021 this year - beginning at Film Forum in NYC. For more info, visit their official website.