"CAVEH ZAHEDI: I Don't Hate Reality Anymore"
Brooklyn, United States
One Week Only, Career Retrospective!
Since his 1991 feature debut A LITTLE STIFF, Caveh Zahedi has written, directed and starred in a series of ambitious, funny, uneasy, autobiographical films that are too unusual to be called mere "documentaries." Neurotically self-confessional and philosophically curious, Zahedi has searched for uncomfortable truths about himself, God, sex and art through a variety of techniques: first-person narration, reenactments, animation, illicit drug use, even casting real-life friends and lovers to play themselves onscreen.
In honor of Zahedi's first two decades as a filmmaker, the reRun Gastropub Theater is proud to present a week-long retrospective showcasing the now Brooklyn-based auteur's unique career, including the 2011 work-in-progress PLOT FOR A BIENNIAL. "CAVEH ZAHEDI: I Don't Hate Reality Anymore" runs February 4 - 10.
* THE WALL STREET JOURNAL talks to Caveh here (Feb. 4, 2011).
* THE L MAGAZINE profiles Caveh here (Feb. 3, 2011).
"Just as Hitchcock found dozens of diverse expressive forms within the thriller genre, Zahedi uses autobiography as a lens through which any topic may be considered."
- Andrew Bujalski, FILMMAKER MAGAZINE
"In many ways, the films prefigure what we now call reality TV, transforming the real (and often the most humiliating, discomfiting aspects of the real) into dramatic situations whose approximate veracity leads to all sorts of ontological head-scratchers... They're also funny as hell."
- Jason McBride, CINEMA SCOPE
*** COME EARLY FOR LIQUOR & SNACKS! Doors open one hour early, Last call 10 minutes before showtime
*** CAVEH ZAHEDI Live in Person on Friday, February 4
OPENING NIGHT: FRIDAY, FEB. 4 @ 7pm + 10pm:
"SIX SHORT FILMS BY AND ABOUT CAVEH ZAHEDI"
(2002 - 2011, 78 mins. total)
Caveh will appear live in person to present 6 short films, including: TRIPPING WITH CAVEH*, THE WORLD IS A CLASSROOM, ONE MINUTE RACIST, THE UNMAKING OF "I AM A SEX ADDICT," DADA, and PLOT FOR A BIENNIAL**
*TRIPPING WITH CAVEH
(2004, 31 mins., featured in "SIX SHORT FILMS BY AND ABOUT CAVEH ZAHEDI")
Caveh approaches legendary songwriter Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy) with the unusual proposition of taking psychedelic mushrooms together, and filming the results. Surprisingly, Will accepts.
**PLOT FOR A BIENNIAL
(2011 work-in-progress, 20 mins., featured in "SIX SHORT FILMS BY AND ABOUT CAVEH ZAHEDI")
In May of 2010, Caveh received an invitation letter from the Sharjah Art Foundation to make a 10 to 20 minute film on the theme of "art as a subversive act" for the upcoming Sharjah Biennial. Using the guidelines set forth in the invitation letter as a jumping-off point for a self-reflexive investigation of the relationship between art and life, the filmmaker decided to travel to Sharjah with his wife, his two-year-old son, and a small film crew to make a film about traveling to Sharjah with his wife, his two-year-old son, and a small film crew to improvise a film on the theme of "art as a subversive act" for the Sharjah Biennial.
SATURDAY, FEB. 5 @ 7pm + 10pm:
I DON'T HATE LAS VEGAS ANYMORE
(1994, 70 mins.)
Caveh takes a road trip to Las Vegas with his father and half-brother in an attempt to prove the existence of God. He posits that if God exists, and if God is indeed omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then all the filmmaker has to do is roll the camera and let God direct the movie. But the movie isn't going in the direction the filmmaker would like, and so the filmmaker attempts to force God's hand by trying to persuade his father and half-brother to take Ecstasy with him. When they refuse, things quickly start to unravel.
"A one of a kind talkfest... Infectiously funny, morally questionable and excruciatingly egocentric."
- Dennis Harvey, VARIETY
SUNDAY, FEB. 6 @ 12pm +
MONDAY, FEB. 7 @ 7pm:
A LITTLE STIFF
(1991, 86 mins.)
Nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, this minimalist comedy is based on true events and re-enacted by the actual participants. Caveh plays himself as a neurotic film student who develops a crush on art student Erin McKim after a brief encounter in an elevator.
"Humorously loaded with the baggage of the directors' film school education... most of it has wit, snap and a horribly clear understanding of paralyzing angst."
- Janet Maslin, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Charming and delightful... Beats what most commercial movies do with young romance hands down."
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, THE CHICAGO READER
TUESDAY, FEB. 8 @ 7pm +
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 9 @ 7pm:
I AM A SEX ADDICT
(2005, 98 mins.)
Winner of the Gotham Award for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You," this transgressive comedy tells the story of how, on the eve of Caveh's third marriage, his attraction to prostitutes and his compulsive honesty combined to destroy each of his past relationships.
"Disarmingly witty... totally original. One of the Best Films of the Year!"
- Mick LaSalle, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
THURSDAY, FEB. 10 @ 7pm + 10pm:
IN THE BATHTUB OF THE WORLD
(2001, 73 mins.)
"On January 1st, 1999, I started a one-year video diary. The idea was to shoot one minute each day. This is the result." - Caveh
as usual in the Caveh Zahedi oeuvre, IN THE BATHTUB OF THE WORLD pieces
together the cranky brilliance, anger, and everyday drama of a filmmaker into
something much larger, and much stranger, than life. Beautiful visual
moments mirroring the poetry alluded to in the title alternate with incredible
personal ones (pigeons roosting inside his home, his father's heart attack,
arguments with his patient girlfriend, a film proposal for WAKING LIFE from his
friend Richard Linklater) in a brave and meditative personal document that
pushes the boundaries of privacy."
- Susan Gerhard, THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN
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