Wednesday, November 29, 2006


On the way all the actors of course have gotten lost in the Tehran traffic and each car has had to call the other over the mobile phone to get the directions, and when finally we enter the apartment all the female actors have taken of their scarf and they are no longer the slightly veiled Norén characters they were on stage, no, now they are exactly the usual “actors at the opening night party” me and Thomas hate more than anything. - No camera, please! says the lady of the house, - everybody here are very famous! she says and waves her hand towards all the to me completely unknown replicas of European actors, - known by every Iranian, so please, no filming in this situation, without scarf and drinking alcohol! - No problem, says Thomas and just goes on filming, - this film is not about you or Iran, this film is just about Nielsen, prost! he says and turns the camera towards me as I take a tour de la apartment, and yeah, someone here really has made some money, a huge flat screen TV on the wall, laptops, fine arts, “Wallpaper”, tonights buffet includes French cheese and not just wannabebaguette, but real faked German style bread with “Sonnenblumenkern”, even the kitchen is hi-tech, but when it comes to an end, and it does: the bar has no whisky, not even a sour white wine, just two tin cans of Heineken and the usual Absolute (Mandarin), - cheers! I say as I go to the loo, - you want me to follow? says Thomas, - no, I says, but I wish he had: this is gorgeous: no hole in the ground, but a shining white almostmarble throne, and on top of it, and in Scandinavian style, the house owners demand: - don’t stand up while doing your deed, please sit! I read, standing. Out again Ghita is waiting, so I try to stand in the light when she kisses me and asks me if I want to go home with her in her car. - And Thomas? I says and look into the camera. - Nooo! she says and goes to the sofa and I am ready to follow, but before I get there, her not very former husband, the notorious Ashrar Hemmat, lion of Iran, has taken my place, and so we are three: me and her, face to face and him in between. (I really don’t know what to say, but don’t worry, he has taken over the scene,) in his broken and scattered English he tells me about his glorious career, all the big parts he has played, Macbeth, Othello, even Richard the Third. And what about me? I think, who am I (supposed to be). The atmosphere is quite low in this corner, but all around us the actors are performing their fame: every time someone enters the apartment the hall of fame rises up in standing applaud. Only once in a while the lion leaves the cage and circles around my camera man who has lost his faith and turned off to instead turn up the level of alcohol. - Thomas! I says, but he doesn’t seem to (dare to) listen. Ghita caresses me cheek, and maybe I’m just their son, their longlost Oedipus, I don’t know, and I don’t really want to. The rest is silence, the lion sits down and violently sucks out the juice of a pommesgranate, and then we are off.
String quartet, every one playing his, walking his string all the way out, a strange but perfect disharmony: the (no longer?) married couple in front whispering to each other in poisoned Farsi and me, the innocent (but curious!) sonny boy on the backseat, (no will of my own, but) ready to do whatever they want. They lion does not, but Ghita she wants, to show him, the lion, that she is in charge. In the dead angle Thomas, almost covered in darkness, but the red light is on now, recording, he’s had his beer, his vodka and juice, and so he is ready for the next revolution. This recording might be the end of their career, not just on stage and on film, no, the end of their life in Tehranian freedom, but they don’t stop it, the lion is too proud, and Ghita wants to show him, that she is free to do anything, even to share her bed with a Westerner, their longlost son. Slowly (but with high speed) we rise from the smog of central Tehran, through deserted dark streets, miles of spiralling expressways to the clear air right under the mountains, where the richest Iranians live their life above Islamic rules. In front of a large new housing covered in white marble the String Quartet has come to a halt. And now? No one knows? The maybe (maybe not!) former husband turns towards the two foreigners and stare at the camera as if to destroy it. But the camera just turns towards him. Silence. Is this game over? He opens the door and slide out of the quartet and walks towards the white light of the house entrance while the camera zooms.


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