Art And Culture

Jalilvand’s Film Draws Attention at Venice Festival

Jay Weissberg of Variety has described the film as “a handsomely made, exceptionally well-played drama” and Deborah Young of Hollywood Reporter believes the movie is “filmed with great sensitivity and style and superbly acted”
Jalilvand’s Film Draws  Attention at Venice Festival
Jalilvand’s Film Draws  Attention at Venice Festival

Iranian feature film ‘No Date, No Signature’ directed by Vahid Jalilvand had its international premiere September 2 at the 74th Venice International Film Festival and was followed by rave reviews from famous Variety and Hollywood Reporter critics.

The movie is competing in the Horizons section, dedicated to films representing the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema, along with another Iranian production, ‘Disappearance’ by Ali Asgari, and 17 other films from across the globe.

‘No Date, No Signature’ was first shown at the 35th Fajr Film Festival in February, received 12 nominations and won three awards for best director, best supporting actor and best sound mixing. It is Jalilvand’s second feature film and tells the story of a forensic doctor who one day at his office comes across a child’s body and feels responsible for his death.

The 104-minute film has Amir Aghaee, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Hediyeh Tehrani, Zakiyeh Behbahani, Saeed Dakh and Alireza Ostadi in the cast.

According to a review by Jay Weissberg published on September 2 in Variety, weekly American entertainment trade magazine, has described the film as “a handsomely made, exceptionally well-played drama which explores questions of culpability and responsibility in society”.


Praising the actors’ performances, he has written, “all four main actors are in top form, but it is Mohammadzadeh who steals the show in his scene at the poultry plant, when his desperate monologue takes on an epic, Shakespearean quality as he throws all his physical force into a verbal storm of pained outrage. The film becomes  a bit too verbose at times, but again, every word packs a punch. A no-holds-barred performance by Mohammadzadeh, recognized by the Fajr jury with their supporting actor prize, gives the film emotional clout.”

Lauding Iran cinema, Deborah Young of Hollywood Reporter, multi-platform American digital and print magazine, has written, “Iranian cinema continues to draw large audiences at festivals, and Vahid Jalilvand’s second feature ‘No Date, No Signature’ was much applauded at its Venice Horizons bow”.

She believes the movie is “filmed with great sensitivity and style and superbly acted,” and said that “its story zeroes in on the class conflict between the rich and the poor”.

Young has also hailed Mohammadzadeh’s performance, calling him a “versatile young actor” who dives into a hot-tempered role as the grief-stricken father. “His furious visit to the chicken factory turns into one of the film’s most dramatic and effective scenes,” she wrote.

  Almost Black & White

On the other elements of the movie, she has written, “the film is a visual pleasure, shot in elegant, nearly black and white images highlighted with faint traces of color. Sets and costumes are effective in creating characters and setting the stage for the unfolding drama, matched by subtle musical comment”.

Director Vahid Jalilvand along with actors Aghaee and Mohammadzadeh has participated in the festival and attended a photo call, September 2.

Jalilvand debut directorial work ‘Wednesday, May 9’ won the INTERFILM award at the 72nd edition of the festival in 2015.

Started August 30, the 74th annual Venice International Film Festival is currently underway in picturesque Italian tourist city and will end on Sept 9. Acclaimed filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad is a jury member in the Horizons section. She also attended a photo call for the jury members August 30.

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