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Faryade Nime Shab

Cry of Midnight
Samuel Khachikian, Iran 1961, 114 Min., OV with English subs, digital
Followed by a talk with Kaveh Askari (online)

In 1961, the Iranian-Armenian Samuel Khachikian, a figure of enormous talent known for his strong female characters and the use of crime cinema motifs, the latter giving him the title of “Iranian Hitchcock”, was at the peak of his success. That year, both titles topping the Iranian box office were his. Indeed, other directors imitated his style and he became the first "name above the title" of Iranian cinema. Faryade Nime Shab, internationally also known as Midnight Terror, was an unofficial remake of Charles Vidor's 1948 film, Gilda. It portrays one of the essential femme fatales of Iranian cinema, Parvin Ghaffari, appearing alongside the popular star Fardin as a young man who becomes entangled with a criminal gang but eventually finds his way back to the innocent girl that he's in love with.

Kaveh Askari is Associate Professor and Director of the Film Studies Program at Michigan State University. He is the author of Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran: Material Cultures in Transit, which won the 2023 Katherine Singer Kovács Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. He is the author of Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood (2014) and the co-editor of several volumes including a special issue of Film History titled South by South/West Asia: Transregional Histories of Middle East--South Asia Cinemas (2021) and Performing New Media, 1890-1915 (2014).