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Projectr offers yet another way to see rare film

Dan Webster

Above: A scene from the documentary film "Filmfarsi." (Photo: Grasshopper Film)

Like all of us, film distribution companies have been forced to adapt to this time of pandemic. With so many theaters across the country affected by COVID restrictions, those companies have had to find other ways to show their wares.

I’ve written about Kino Now, the streaming arm of the New York-based business Kino Lorber. So today I received an email from another New York firm, Grasshopper Film.

And what Grasshopper Film has to offer looks promising. It’s certainly obscure enough not to be readily available elsewhere.

Through its streaming site Projectr, Grasshopper Film sponsors the Projectr Movie Club. A bi-weekly series that launched on Feb. 5, the club features what it calls “rare, lost and unreleased films” – which, of course, is just the thing for those tired of mainstream fare.

The club will premiere “an acclaimed new film” every Wednesday, and said film will be available to stream for two weeks only. In addition, film fans will be able to post questions to the filmmakers.

The best thing is that you don’t have to sign up for anything. No subscription fees are required. You just go on the website, buy individual tickets (at $12 apiece) or purchase a 4-Film Edition Pass (for $25).

A documentary film that is available for streaming right now (and on through March 2) is titled “Filmfarsi,” which is described as “personal journey through the history of Iranian popular cinema before the revolution.” The term “filmfarsi” refers to Iranian genres films that were made between 1950 and 1979.

Directed by London-based Iranian filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht, the 2019 documentary “uncovers a cinema of titillation, action and big emotions, which presented a troubling mirror for the country, as Iran struggled to reconcile its religious traditions with the turbulence of modernity, and the influences of the West.”

Sounds just like the kind of movie I’ll enjoy watching on a snowy Friday evening. Excuse me while I go and buy some extra popcorn.

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