black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.


11 Persian-American Artists Bringing Iran to the U.S. | Vanity Fair

1. Artist, photographer, and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, named “Artist of the Decade” in 2010.

2. Nina Seirafi, named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 interior designers in the world (the “AD100”) in 2010.

3. The bisexual writer-director-actress Desiree Akhavan, hailed as “the next Lena Dunham” by the New York Post. Her debut film, Appropriate Behavior, a comic and sexually graphic story of coming out, premiered at Sundance this year.

4. Nariman Hamed, the son of actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, “the Meryl Streep of Iran,” is directing a documentary, Shirin, about the artist Shirin Neshat, with animation by Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi.

5. Nima Behnoud got his start re-designing jeans that had been dropped by the Red Cross on the Iran-Iraq border during the Iran-Iraq war. Now, Heidi Klum and other celebrities wear his calligraphy-laced clothing brand, Nimany. His Web site has been banned in Iran.

6. Hafez Nazeri, the son of Iran’s most prominent classical musician, Shahram Nazeri, is a composer who brings East and West together in hauntingly beautiful orchestral pieces. His fifth album, Untold, released by Sony March 11, was recorded in five countries with more than 35 Grammy Award-winning artists.

7. Habibi, the retro, all-girl, punk-rock band, based in Brooklyn, fronted by Rahill Jamalifard.

Sam Mendes: How to Be a Happier Director

3. If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi Dench.

4. Learn to say, “I don’t know the answer.” It could be the beginning of a very good day’s rehearsal. 

6. Avoid, please, all metaphors of plays or films as “pinnacles” or “peaks”; treat with absolute scorn the word “definitive”; and if anyone uses the word “masterpiece,” they don’t know what they’re doing. The pursuit of perfection is a mug’s game.

8. Confidence is essential, but ego is not.

10. Buy a good set of blinkers. Do not read reviews. It’s enough to know whether they’re good or they’re bad. When I started, artists vastly outnumbered commentators, and now, there are a thousand published public opinions for every work of art. However strong you are, confidence is essential to what you do, and confidence is a fragile thing. Protect it. As T.S. Eliot says, teach us to care, and not to care.

13. There is no right and wrong, there is only interesting, and less interesting.

14. Paintings, novels, poetry, music are all superior art forms. But theater and film can steal from all of them.

17. Learn when to shut up. I’m still working on this one.

19. Please remember the Oscars are a TV show.

20. Get on with it. Robert Frost said, “Tell everything a little faster.” He wasn’t wrong.

22. Learn to accept the blame for everything. If the script was poor, you didn’t work hard enough with the writer. If the actors failed, you failed them. If the sets, the lighting, the poster, the costumes are wrong, you gave them the thumbs-up. So build up your shoulders, they need to be broad.

23. On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit.

24. Always have an alternative career planned out. Mine is a cricket commentator. You will never do this career, but it might help you get to sleep at night.

25. Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something that you love.

Vanity Fair

©2011 Kateoplis