Crimson Gold - 2003

Directed by Jafar Panahi

A pizza delivery man lives a life of near-poverty in comparison to the lucky few who take their wealth for granted and are oblivious to the inequities that run rampant in Iranian society. When he and his future brother-in-law are turned away from a high scale jewelry store because of their shabby appearance he is unable to overcome the embarrassment and resulting shame.

Color, 1 hour 37 minutes, Farsi

Original Title: Tala-ye Sorkh

Trailer currently not available, Watch Scene (Farsi w/English subtitles)

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 5

Cast


Hossein Emadeddin Hossein
Kamyar Sheissi Ali
Azita Rayeji Bride
Shahram Vaziri Jeweler
Pourang Nakhaei Rich Man
Kaveh Najmabadi Seller
Saber Safaei Soldier
Yadollah Samadian  
Ramin Rastad  
Behnaz Houri  
Ehsan Amani Man in Tea House
Mehran Rajabi  

Crew


Writer Abbas Kiarostami
Director Jafar Panahi
Producer Jafar Panahi
Director of Photography Hossein Jafarian
Sound Recordist Dana Farzanehpour
Production Designer Iraj Raminfar
Editor Jafar Panahi
Sound Mixer Massoud Behnam
Music Peiyman Yazdanian

Pictures


The fate of Hossein (Hossein Emadeddin) is revealed in the opening sequence.

The fate of Hossein the pizza delivery man (played by real-life pizza delivery man Hossein Emadeddin) is revealed in the opening sequence.

Hossein's friend and future brother-in-law Ali (Kamyar Sheissi) finds a jewelry receipt in a purse he has stolen.

Hossein's friend and future brother-in-law Ali (Kamyar Sheissi) finds a jewelry receipt in a purse he has stolen.

The two hope to see what kind of jewelry could merit such an exorbitant price but are turned away at the door.

The two hope to see what kind of jewelry could merit such an exorbitant price but are turned away at the door.

Returning to the store well-dressed, with his fiance, yet still receiving the cold shoulder.

Returning to the store well-dressed, with his fiance, yet still receiving the cold shoulder.

The jeweler ignores Hossein and is wife and attends to a rich couple.

The jeweler ignores Hossein and his wife and attends to a rich couple.

After the embarrassment, Hossein is inconsolable.

After the embarrassment, Hossein is inconsolable.

A glimpse of Hossein's home life.

A glimpse of Hossein's home life.

Dining with a rich customer, and listening to his 'problems.'

Dining with a rich customer, and listening to his "problems."

Helping himself to a drink.

Helping himself to a drink.

Hossein's night of luxury.

Hossein's night of luxury.

DVD


Crimson Gold DVD Case

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External Reviews


By A.O. Scott The New York Times

Jafar Panahi's "Crimson Gold," which will be shown at the 41st New York Film Festival tonight and tomorrow, begins with the armed robbery of a Tehran jewelry store, an event captured in one motionless shot as if by a security camera, albeit one that has been set up for artistic effect rather than efficient surveillance. Gunshots are exceedingly rare in Iranian movies, and the two that are fired in the opening moments reverberate with particular force, even though the crime they aggravate looks banal and amateurish.

The robbery is the sort that might rate a brief mention in the morning paper or the evening news and then be swept aside in the rush of city life. And indeed, it was a newspaper article about a similar incident that piqued the interest of Mr. Panahi and Abbas Kiarostami, who wrote the screenplay. Continued

By Manhola Dargis Los Angeles Times

The gritty urban drama "Crimson Gold" couldn't look more foreign or feel more familiar. Set in Tehran, this tough, bristling story about a working-class man pushed over the edge vividly brings to mind the great Hollywood social dramas of the 1930s, films that acknowledged it didn't take much for the desperate to cross the line. Poor people and social injustice may have all but disappeared from our movies, but in Iran the tradition of film as a means to express the most essential human struggles -- for love, for safety, for dignity -- continues unabated. Continued

By David Lipfert Offoffoff.com

How much does it take to push someone to the point of no return? Iran is the setting of "Crimson Gold," but given the right amount of economic injustice and personal insult, almost anyone anywhere can turn volatile.

Even when you know the outcome, it can still shock. And director Jafar Panahi puts that shock right in the beginning of his latest film, "Crimson Gold." It's based on a true story, here told as one long flashback. It's also a dark tale, with the most memorable scenes shot in shadowy darkness, police sirens providing an aural backdrop.

The chain of events kicks off with Hossein (Hossein Emadeddin) mulling over the contents of a purse his eager sidekick Ali (Kamyar Sheissi) has just pinched. It was hardly worth the effort for the little money inside. But a receipt for a $90,000 necklace intrigues him. So to see what is worth more than a lifetime's wages at Hossein's day job of delivering pizzas, the two head off to the exclusive jeweler that sold the gold necklace. Continued

By Peter Rainier New York Magazine

Rich and poor live uneasily together in "Crimson Gold," Jafar Panahi’s revealing tale of a Tehran pizza deliverer driven to murder.

Jafar Panahi’s "Crimson Gold" opens with a four-minute sequence, filmed in a single take, in which a burly young man with a gun kills a jewelry-shop owner and then himself. In flashback, the rest of the movie shows what led up to the shooting. Panahi is, after Abbas Kiarostami -- who wrote the screenplay -- Iran’s most celebrated filmmaker; his deeply unsettling 2000 movie "The Circle," about the lives of Iranian women in various stages of duress and persecution, is a modern classic. Panahi makes movies that seem almost haphazardly constructed, and yet, as they meander along, a cross-section of urban life is laid bare. Continued



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