A long-gestating non-conventional documentary directed by Iranian multi-hyphenate Mitra Farahani centered around a conversation between Jean-Luc Godard and Iranian filmmaker and literary figure Ebrahim Golestan that took place via regular weekly email exchanges involving videos, images, aphorisms, and letters, is set to soon surface on the international festival circuit.
The film, called “See You Friday Robinson,” stems from Farahani’s desire to initiate and portray a dialogue between the French New Wave icon, who is now 90, and Golestan, a revered intellectual who is 98 and lives in the West Sussex village of Bolney, south of London. Golestan is considered an Iranian cinema pioneer and is known for the films “Brick and Mirror” (1965) and “The Secrets of the Treasure of the Jinn Valley (1974). He left Iran in 1975, settling in the U.K. and has focused entirely on his writing since then. The two men do not know each other personally.
Farahani wrote to Godard proposing to set up a physical meeting. He sent back a message with the words: “See You Friday Robinson.”
“This was a gift for me,” she says, “it was much better than a meeting.” “I loved his idea, which involved words and images.”
So Farhani started flying every week from Rome to London where she would then reach Golestan’s house to tape and transcribe what he said and thus “became a sender of words and images for eight months,” she recalls.
The procedure was basically that an email with text but no visuals was sent from outside London, written by Golestan, and a reply was sent back the following Friday from Rolle in Switzerland, by Godard, with videos, images, and aphorisms.
“Godard was late only a couple of times, for which he apologized. He was like a Swiss clock,” says Farahani.
“Every Friday has its aphorism, its quote, its image, its edit,” according to a synopsis by the Sundance Institute that is among backers of the project.
Prior to directing and editing “See You Friday,” Farahani previously helmed several docs, including the lyrical “Fifi Howls From Happiness” about provocative artist Bahman Mohassess, dubbed the “Persian Picasso.”
Farahani also serves as co-producer on the Godard conversation documentary via her Paris-based Écran Noir Productions which co-produced in tendem with Hamidreza Pejman, founder of the Pejman Foundation, Fabrice Aragno’s Casa Azul, and Lebanese producer Georges Schoucair via his Schorcut Films, with the support of Eurimages, besides Sundance.
“They are two men who represent almost century of cinema. I wanted their thoughts” said Farhani, who added that the project was inspired by a poem by poet and filmmaker Pierpaolo Pasolini titled “I Am a Force of The Past.”