Mehrjui in Berkeley

Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui and author and Berkeley resident Anita Amirrezvani. Dariush Mehrjui and Fereshteh Davaran.
I met up with friends to go see two Dariush Mehrjui films in Berkeley this evening. I loved his movie, The Pear Tree. It is a movie based on a Goli Taraghi story about a middle-aged author who returns to his Damavand fruit orchard to overcome his writer's block, coming head-on with the lost love story of his childhood. It was a beautiful movie, moving and reminiscent of so much about my own childhood. We also saw his short film, The Lost Cousin, this one a bit more surreal and dark for my taste. He then answered questions and spent a little time signing a book about his films. Professor Ardavan Davaran, a college classmate of Dariush Mehrjui's, introduced him and shared some sweet and funny memories of their college years at UCLA as young students. He said Mehrjui knew he wanted to be a film director back then, but chose to study philosophy. When his friend asked him why he was going to study philosophy if he wanted to make movies, he said because I will learn all the technical stuff in time, but in order to make good movies I will need to learn about philosophy first. Well, he learned well! From his movie, The Cow, to his latest films, I have seen quite a few of this gifted director's films, but truth be told, the one movie he made which I believe was the funniest Iranian movie I ever saw in my life, was The Tenants (ejareh neshin-ha). I have that movie and sometimes when I feel low, I watch it to cheer me up!
I saw Mehdi, Nasim and Jay, Shadi, and a whole bunch of my other Bay Area friends to my endless delight! Mehran and Bayramali and I went to dinner afterwards, laughing and talking about life. I was reminded again of how fortunate I am to be living in this area and to have such superb friends. It was a perfect thing to do to bring sunshine into my Saturday, even if the rain poured relentlessly. Have a good Sunday everybody!

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