Chess of the Wind

  • 100'
  • Iran
  • 1976

Mohammad Reza Aslani’s long-lost, legendary classic of Iranian New Wave cinema, Chess of the Wind, was probably the most internationally celebrated revelation/restoration of 2020. And no wonder. On the plot level, it’s a fabulously scary crime movie with gothic overtones reminiscent of classics like Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diabolique (1955) or any ‘Who’s driving me nuts?’ thriller written in the 1960s by Jimmy Sangster – while formally, it’s a monument to artistic control, a show of perfectionist care and dedication beyond the norm.

The creepiness of Chess of the Wind lies not so much in its arsenal of warped souls and broken minds but in the film’s textures: fabrics and the play of light on them, as well as its forcefully rigorous visual compositions that make every image look like a painting depicting the situation’s interior hierarchy, and every tracking shot feel like an earth-shaking shift in power relations.

Director
Mohammad Reza Aslani
Country of production
Iran
Production Year
1976
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
100'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Shatranj-e baad
Language
Persian
Producer
Bahman Farmanara
Sales
Cineteca di Bologna - Archivio Film
Screenplay
Mohammad Reza Aslani
Cinematography
Houshang Baharlou
Editor
Abbas Ganjavi
Music
Sheyda Gharachedaghi
Cast
Fakhri Khorvash, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Akbar Zanjanpour, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Shahram Golchin, Hamid Taati, Agha Jan Rafii