Not too long before his death in September 2022, Jean-Luc Godard opened the door to an epistolary and filmic relationship with the great, if less known, Iranian filmmaker and novelist Ebrahim Golestan (Brick and Mirror), now 100 years old and living in a castle in England. In taking up his producer Mitra Farahani’s playful challenge—to see where this much-belated correspondence would lead them—Godard, ever the devilish imp, began sending Golestan a series of cryptic and gnomic fragments of text and image, always signing off “See You Friday, Robinson!” in punning reference to Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. These messages in a bottle, cast out from the isolation of his home in Rolle, Switzerland, comprise some of Godard’s concluding and yet (as ever) inconclusive statements on language, cinema, politics, death, regret, and love. Golestan replied in turn with his own profoundly moving and subversively funny thoughts on these big existential questions, as well as on the mundanities and frustrations of old age.
Mitra Farahani’s See You Friday, Robinson, presented here in its New York premiere, forms a loose trilogy with her previous portraits of artists in late career: Behjat Sadr in Behjat Sadr: Time Suspended (2006) and Bahman Mohassess in Fifi Howls from Happiness (2013). Farahani is also the co-producer of Godard’s The Image Book (2022), and his forthcoming film Scénario, and she has been instrumental in the restoration of films by Ebrahim Golestan and Forough Farrokhzad, including their masterful collaboration The House Is Black (1962).
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film.