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Film Screening: "Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary"

September 28, 2017 -
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Building 260, room 113

Event is in English. Free and open to the public. 

May not be appropriate for audiences under 16 (strong language and mild nudity) 

*Please note new location: Building 260, room 113. 

Directed by Adam Soch, Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary (2015, 104 minutes) covers the extraordinary life of Iranian-born American theatrical maverick Reza Abdoh (1963-1995). Soch is an award-winning filmmaker and producer. Throughout the 1990s, he collaborated closely with Reza Abdoh on many of his most acclaimed productions, including Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, Tight Right White, and Quotations from a Ruined City.

In many ways, Reza Abdoh resembles the seminal Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Both of these prodigiously talented artists reflected in their work the tumultuous times they had been born into; both died prematurely, in their early 30s, of a slow-killing disease which had been demonized by the societies of their era. Both left behind a substantial body of work that is constantly referenced, quoted, analyzed and taught to eager followers. What makes Abdoh very different form Schubert, however, is that in order to emerge in all its glory, Abdoh’s oeuvre required the participation of countless people who followed his daring visions.

Described as a provocateur whose actors “mooned audiences, became slaves under torture, and hung nude upside down in fish tanks,” Abdoh was best known for his large-scale experimental works, often staged outside the traditional theater environment. Created with his company, Dar a Luz, his pieces were performed in lofts, hotels and on the streets of New York City’s then-gritty Meatpacking District throughout the early 90s in New York, Los Angeles and Europe. Abdoh’s expressive imagery was inspired by everything from classical literature, to his own harrowing experience as a gay man diagnosed with AIDS in the context of the American political landscape of the 1990s, to TV talk shows and BDSM iconography, with subject matter ranging from personal memories to racial issues, violence in America, sexual repression, cruelty, and death.

Part of the Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts

Event Sponsor: 
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts
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