Brick and Mirror Screen 4 articles

Brick and Mirror

1965

Brick and Mirror Poster
  • It is the work of a director not yet completely in mastery of his material. The orphanage sequence, crucial to the social themes of the film, is not really integrated into the drama or psychology of the film. Golestan also seems unable to judge when a point or idea has been conveyed, so dialogue repeats what is already clear, or scenes continue longer than needed. The film is just over two hours long – it perhaps could have lost around 20 minutes and been a tighter, greater film.

  • Brick and Mirror has many poetic moments due to the arrangement of dialogue and the silences between the couple. Their long, silent walk on the street after a heated conversation, in which the woman loses hope in her lover, as well as the orchestration of the pseudo intellectuals’ dialogues in the café, are great examples of these arrangements.

  • Though this black-and-white ‘Scope film superficially resembles Italian neorealism, especially in its indelible look at Tehran street life and nightlife in the 60s, its spirit is a mix of Dostoyevsky and expressionism: minor characters periodically step forward to deliver anguished soliloquies, contributing to an overall lament both physical and metaphysical.

  • Golestan produced and directed a bunch of documentaries and feature films... But it’s with his 1964 feature that the director wrote an important chapter in the history of Iranian cinema by authoring its first modern masterpiece, Khesht o Ayeneh (Brick and Mirror). Golestan’s first fiction film is a protean creature in whose meanders unscripted reality mixes with a metaphysical narrative and the lights of modernity are eclipsed by the shadows of ethical quandaries.

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