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Toothache (film)

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Toothache (film)

Toothache
دندان‌ درد
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Written by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring Jamshid Parvizian
Cinematography Firuz Malekzadeh
Edited by Abbas Kiarostami
Production
company
Release dates
  • 1980 (1980) (Iran)
  • 1995 (1995) (Switzerland)
Running time
26 min. (24fps)
Country Iran
Language Persian

Toothache (Persian: دندان‌ درد, Dandan dard‎‎) is a 1980 Iranian short educational film written, directed and edited by Abbas Kiarostami. It is also known as Dental Hygiene (Persian: بهداشت دندان, Behdasht-e dandan‎‎)[1][2][3][4] which has let to some confusion and resulted in the film being listed under the latter title as an additional entry in some online filmographies, e.g. on IMDb.

Shot on 16mm, Toothache is the antepenultimate of the odd dozen pedagogical short movies that Kiarostami made at the film-making department of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Kanoon) between 1970 and 1982. The film, concerned with teaching children why they must care for their teeth and brush them regularly, "is certainly the longest, the most didactic in tone and the most highly structured of all Kiarostami's shorts."[5] To illustrate its point, the film contains ten animated shots, handled by Abdollah Alimorad and Mehdi Samakar, showing, among other things, little green tooth trolls pickaxing holes in a number of teeth. Toothache is, however, not the first of Kiarostami's Kanoon films to use animation—that was So Can I (Persian: منم میتونم, Manam mitunam‎‎, 1975).

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Reception 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Plot

Iran, October 1980. Young Mohammad-Reza Askari, whose father and grandfather both wear dentures, rarely finds time to brush his teeth as he often runs late in the morning. At school this makes him a bit of a pariah: shunned by his classmates due to his bad breath, unfit to participate in sports activities on account of his nascent toothache, eventually unable to attend school because the pain is now so excruciating that all he can do is whimper. He needs to go and get his teeth checked by a dentist at the local public dental clinic. While a dental surgeon works on Mohammad's teeth, the serious-faced chief dentist delivers a thirteen-minute direct-to-camera monologue on proper dental hygiene and explains how tooth decay occurs. His lecture is punctuated by brief animations, moving charts, a sequence showing how to brush one's teeth properly, off-camera screaming and moaning as well as shots of Mohammad suffering and being treated. Once the treatment is finished and the pain is gone, Mohammad is able to return to his daily activities which now include regular tooth brushing.

Reception

In Iran the film "was apparently given an excellent reception and enjoyed quite a wide circulation."[5] Since Kiarostami has gained international acclaim through his feature films, Toothache, which had its international premiere at Locarno in 1995,[6] has been shown at numerous festivals throughout the world[7] and has received scholarly attention from academics—who don't necessarily agree with Jonathan Rosenbaum's assessment of the movie as "a simple piece of didacticism about dental hygiene".[8]

Hamid Dabashi, for instance, gives the film a deconstructive reading: "The narrative [...] rests on a typically Kiarostamiesque pondering on the relationship of constructed reality (dentures) to reality (teeth). Here the artistically re-created make-believe (dentures) is privileged over the naturally created reality (teeth)"[9] because, after all, if the boy would have dentures his teeth wouldn't hurt. The film's message is thus double-edged, it paradoxically not only promotes dental care but also dental carelessness. Kiarostami would again take up this idea of the superiority of a "concocted reality [over] the real thing"[10] in his last educational short, The Chorus (Persian: همسرایان, Hamsarayan‎‎, 1982), where the benefits of the old man's hearing aid mirror the convenience of the father and grandfather's dentures.

Approaching the film from a

External links

  1. ^ http://www.kanoontolid.com/?p=1334
  2. ^ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/625871
  3. ^ http://sensesofcinema.com/2001/17/kiarostami_authors/#filmo/
  4. ^ http://mubi.com/films/toothache
  5. ^ a b Alberto Elena, The Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami, 2005, p. 30
  6. ^ Oksana Bulgakowa, Die Kamera hinter dem Spiegel. Abbas Kiarostami und seine frühen Arbeiten, film-dienst, vol. 48, no. 21, October 1995, p. 4
  7. ^ For example at Thessaloniki in 2004, http://www.filmfestival.gr/2004/uk/kiarostami.php
  8. ^ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lessons From a Master: Films by Abbas Kiarostami, Chicago Reader, vol. 25, no. 36, June 13–19, 1996, p. 46 (also here)
  9. ^ a b Hamid Dabashi, Close Up: Cinema, Past, Present, and Future, 2001, p. 59
  10. ^ Ibid., p. 60
  11. ^ Laurent Roth, Rage de dents, Cahiers du cinéma, no. 493, July/August 1995, p. 102: "cette manière qu'a Kiarostami de mettre à nu les effets dévastateurs du fléau décrit."
  12. ^ Ibid.: "il y a hyperbole à force de réalisme"
  13. ^ Ibid.: "Humour et sadisme parviennent à faire légèrement dévier ce documentaire de sa visée hygiéniste."
  14. ^ This and all the following quotes are from Jim Knox, Cacti Blossom in a Desert: Some Short Films of Abbas Kiarostami, Senses of Cinema, no. 29, December 2003
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-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

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-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


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return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

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-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


References

See also

While Jim Knox of Senses of Cinema agrees with Elena that of all of Kiarostami's instructional shorts Toothache is—along Orderly or Disorderly (Persian: به ترتیب یا بدون ترتیب ؟, Be tartib ya bedun-e tartib?‎‎, 1981)—the one where "the pedagogical intention [...] is most starkly apparent",[14] he, not unlike Dabashi and Roth, also points out "its refusal of generic conventions", although in his eyes the film's stance is an unambiguous affirmation of the virtues of caring for one's teeth which he interprets as an appeal to the Iranian public to care for their health because "[f]or a young revolutionary state, vehemently opposed to both global Blocs, the health of its citizens is one guarantee of combat effectiveness" (strangely enough, he fails to mention the First Gulf War which had broken out just one month prior to the time setting of the film's plot). In Dabashi, the diegetic world and the reality of post-revolutionary Iran exist merely side-by-side,[9] whereas here they are put into relation. Knox thus continues, still in the vein of New Historicism, by opining that "[f]or a theocratic state, the issue assumes a metaphysical significance; the health of the individual derives from adherence to the discipline of a strict moral code", while he stresses at the same time that Toothache is "[p]erhaps surprisingly" the first of Kiarostami's shorts to feature women (albeit in minor roles).

[13] and evident in the film's "[h]umor and sadism[, that] manage[s] to slightly deflect this documentary from its hygienistic aim.[12]

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