Sept. 28: Noureddin ZarrinKelk, Iranian Animator

Noureddin ZarrinKelk was born into a family of traditional Persian painters and calligraphers. In fact his last name means “Golden Pen” in Persian. But Noureddin, affectionately called Noori, also had a daring eye for adapting modern subjects, and perhaps it was also his fate to reimagine this 13th-century art form in a new light, as Noor means “light.”

He started his career at 16, drawing caricatures for Iranian magazines. After earning a Ph.D. in pharmacology, he worked as an illustrator trying to change the long-held tradition of imageless textbooks in Iran. While working at Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, Noori saw how animated film can engage young audiences. He went to Belgium to study animation with Raoul Servais and was soon making films for children. He has since advanced Iranian animation almost singlehandedly by founding the country’s first animation school in 1974 and Iran’s branch of the International Animated Film Society in 1987.

Noori possesses a special humor which exists in all of his work. In The Mad, Mad, Mad World (1975), he portrays each continent on the globe transforming into a variety of animals barking or squawking at neighboring countries. But Noori is hesitant to speak about Iranian politics. Instead he works to encode profound political and social messages in his films, while sharing the culture and history of his country with a worldwide audience. His films express the need for global peace and understanding.

In his latest film, Bani Adam (2011), he brings together world leaders to recite a poem by 13th-century Persian poet Sa’adi about our common humanity.

Throughout his career, Noureddin ZarrinKelk has helped to find a distinct place for animation and graphic art in the broad field of painting. And Iranian artists are increasingly recognized and received with great respect worldwide, in large part because of Nouredddin’s persistence and hard work.

His creativity in animation and graphics is interwoven with powerful peculiarities of Iranian art and soul, making him one of the most renowned representatives of his country. At the same time, his art, with universal values, designates him as an artist of the world.


38 comments on “Sept. 28: Noureddin ZarrinKelk, Iranian Animator

  1. Ruthie Williams says:

    It has been such a cool week having Mr. ZarrinKelk at USC. His films have so much emotion in them and sometimes deal with very dark aspects of human nature, like the tendency towards war and violence, and at other points are very delicate, beautiful and engage fantasy and the imagination. He has worked with different styles and ideas throughout his life, but the voice in his stories and artwork is unified because it always feel honest, like he is saying exactly what he wants to say how he wants to say it. My favorite film of his that was screened is Amir Hamze, because I think it was such an ambitious goal to use a Persian manuscript painting style in animation and I enjoyed seeing how he resolved those stylistic elements. I also enjoyed the inclusion of modern elements like a typewriter sound and the photo snapshots at the end which are great examples of the dry humor that is mentioned about ZarrinKelk in the quote read by Prof. Panuschka from “Cartoons”. Superpowers is also striking in how it resolves visual problems, but in a different way– the ability to get so much from very simple symbols and deliver such a poignant final frame is one of many demonstrations of why ZarrinKelk is a masterful visual storyteller.

  2. It was truly an honor to see Mr. ZarrinKelk’s work at USC. I was able to attend both his Sunday and his Wednesday screenings, and I feel grateful for both of them!

    Noori’s work is particularly powerful because it elegantly communicates complex themes. His visual style is immediately engaging, and his sensitivity – both in humor and to injustice – comes through in all of his work. It is particularly interesting to view his three ‘socially conscious’ films in a row, it gave us an opportunity to see his progression from metaphor to more specific commentary. I think all of the films have a powerful resonance. The moment that stood out for me this last week was in Super Powers when the fighting had stopped and the film ended on gravestones. The piece creates conflict between plus and minus signs, and the only moment where they are able to peacefully coexist is within death. It’s so ironically powerful to see crosses erected with minus sign shadows. It’s the first time they are seen next to one another without trying to harm one another. This image stuck with me, it was so tragic.

    Even upon second viewing, I also really enjoyed Amir Hamza the lover, and the Dancing Zebra. The animation is so minimal in some parts, and with such a humorous payoff! I think this piece demonstrates how a simple, stylized approach with a strong concept can be incredibly effective in communicating. The artwork in the Dancing Zebra is also interesting, as it represents a more classic Iranian style.

    This was an inspiring seminar. I am very grateful to all those who helped arrange Noori’s visit – from Kurosh ValaNejad to Lisa Mann and Christine Panushka + many others!

  3. Amy Ketchum says:

    What an absolutely amazing seminar! I was deeply moved upon seeing Mr. ZarrinKelk’s work. Each piece whether playful or serious carries equal depth and speaks to the attributes of humanity, both beautiful and ugly. I enjoyed watching a retrospective of his work across many decades and admired the way he moves fluidly between styles and yet maintains a solid attitude across different animations. I also appreciated the format of the seminar, in which he played a film and then opened the room up to discussion in between films. Having international animators like Mr. ZarrinKelk at USC is one of the reasons I feel privileged to be at USC.

  4. Rachel Jaffe says:

    Whether boasting an almost graceful fluidity of movement to an intentionally jarring aesthetic, the short films of Noureddin ZarrinKelk screened during last week’s seminar spanned a remarkable array of subjects, nearly all of which ranged wildly across the emotional spectrum – sometimes in the course of a scant half-minute.

    From the purposely pared-down palette of “Super Powers” to the selective chromaticism of the cutout-dominated “A Playground for Baboush,” each of the films demonstrated a quasi-intimidating intensity, an effectiveness birthed half from the conflict-ridden decades of the 1970s and 1980s, and – one can’t help but suspect – half from the animator’s innate ability to simultaneously charm and menace.

    The quixotically factitious faux-reality of “Amir Hamza the Lover” was, I’ll admit, my favourite of the six films screened that evening – partly due to the unexpectedly endearing framework of its exposition, but mainly because its aphoristic subtext was, if not well-hidden, at least semi-ornately-cloaked in a magical realism of which even Gunter Grass would have been proud*.

    And – at the risk of echoing Laura’s words – I very much want to pass on my thanks to Christine Panushka, Lisa Mann, Kurosh ValaNejad, and all of the countless others who helped arrange Noori’s visit! (And, of course, to Noori himself!)

    *Possibly. One never can be sure when Gunter Grass is concerned.

    • Dear Rachel;

      I am Noori’s brother and the producer of Bani Adam. I must admit after being in USA for thirty years, I haven never seen a poetic writing as beautifull as your commentry about my brother. Wow!!!

      Thank you.

      Majid Zarrinkelk

  5. Yang Liu says:

    What a great event with Noureddin ZarrinKelk, I was so amazed by his talents. Before I came to see his films, I thought his work would be one of those dark, deep and experimental animations, but I was totally wrong. It was my bias of seeing most experimental artists in that way. Noureddin ZarrinKelk’s animations are very fun to watch and surprisingly easy to understand. I also love his sense of humor in all the films as well as the way he speaks. In fact, his works do have a lot of “layers” in the content, and they can be fun but also sarcastic.
    Especially his work “super power” was extremely impressive and creative. It has a huge amount of symbolic meanings and was organized in an extremely clever way. The style was visually very strong, but at the same time it does not confuse the audience at all. The timing, the motion and the sound design were all very successful to contribute to this film. I am surprised that he looked at politics in a very fun way, because it is not easy to make fun of politics but also criticize it. I enjoyed watching all of his works, as he is a fun, humorous but also serious artist.

  6. Lanzhu Jian says:

    I have been to Sunday afternoon screening. The art work of Mr. Nouri deeply touched my heart. Also, his respectful, honestly personality have strong charming and it deeply attract people around him. I m the one who attract only by his work but also his brave personality and incredible talent. Especially the animation he made about politic brought me lots of ideal about China and the situation Chinese people have been experienced now and then. Countries like Iran and China or North Korea have many things in common when it gets to political aspect although we have very different culture background. Just like in the book which wrote by George Orwell 50 years ago. The world did not change at all. People who have power still want to control the other people and shut down their voice and their desire for peaceful, fair life. Further more,Form the last animation he showed to us. I couldn’t agree more with his opinion about UN today, based on what I see and what I hear. UN is becoming another weak government and manipulated by power and mone. What Mr. Nouri showed in his animation I think clearly demonstrated his opinion about human society. The other animation I really love is the one people collect diamond and their way to deal with the diamond. I think Everybody can engaged with this film because this film basiclly illustrate all the human being’s attitude towards money and the question:
    What it is most important thing for us? What it is the real happiness to us? Is it money? Is it power? Is it to climb the top of the world? Or become the richest man in the world? The desire for money and power can be endless, but our life is only once. How would you choose? How would you do? These questions are spinning around my heart after I saw Mr. Nouri’s film. They are so simple, but so deep I can’t really have an answer for it. I think thousand people watch this film will have thousand different questions for their life. And of course it will be thousand answers too. I guess this is what Mr. Nouri’s animation want to tell us. Think about our world and think about these questions.

    Again, I really love Mr. Nouri. I respect him as an brilliant artist, also as an brave man.

  7. Iranian animator Noureddin ZarrinKelk came to USC to screen a retrospective of his work as a guest for Vision and Voices. Kurosh ValaNejad, an organizer of the event, moderated the Q&A giving context to the sociopolitical climate in which the films were made -from pre-revolution Iran to post-Islamic revolution Iran of today.

    The film Prince Amir-Hamzeh(1977) utilized stylistic elements of Persian manuscripts to inspire the character design and background layout. To resolve the graphic style of the characters, Noori adopted a cutout method to animate the characters. Actions were simple producing an economical method of communicating movement. Persian calligraphy played a direct role in the story. When the Prince recovers from his injuries, he overhears sunbathing morning doves describe the whereabouts of the cursed princess. The written script translates the unintelligible cooing of the birds, acting as imaginative subtitles for the audience. This surrealist element describes the altered state of the brain damaged Prince while playing on the fantastical possibilities of the medium.

  8. Seeing the films and getting to meet the artist in person was a great pleasure. It was overall a very enjoyable and interesting screening and those who made this possible deserve much gratitude.

    .One thought stuck with me after the screening and I will focus on that here: The two films I enjoyed the most were the Zebra one and the balloon one and I feel the represented this particular artist at the peak of his creative powers. They are clever and funny, masterfully designed and timed and of course extremely entertaining. His “political films” were much more heavy handed, less inventive and ultimately less important since they were simply, in my opinion not as good of films.

    The two films I preferred were also more effective politically I feel since watching something beautiful and cleverly made is both inspiring and ultimately much more anti-war than any film dealing directly with the subject or to put it in simple terms “Singing in the Rain” has more of an anti war effect than “Schindler’s List”.

    I feel it is important to bring this up because I felt more focus was put on the importance of Mr. Zarrinkelk’s political work than the beauty and inventiveness of his other films, even by himself while I feel it should have been the reverse. The importance of the artist should be more judged by the excellence of his craft than his subject matter and this is particularly true of animation where skill and execution are key. The political films were certainly skillful but rather dull when compared to the two masterpieces mentioned above and I feel they got a lot more credit than they deserved simply because they delt with and issued deemed important (war or greed in this case).

  9. Simo Liu says:

    Before this week’s seminar, I had been to Sunday afternoon screening. My first impression of Noureddin ZarrinKelk was from the booklet distributed on that day. When I opened it, I was attracted by the cover he drew. The illustration is so beautiful. It’s simple but special, which could make me warm. I believed his works must be the same with his painting, which could make people warm too. But I was totally wrong since his works not only made people warm, but also was fully of sincerity, humor and shocks. He could use different artist ways and various aspects to create different works, which was the point that I very appreciated him. And when I saw the works second time, I could also be totally attracted. What shocked me most was “Super Powers”. Even though the whole film used the visual language in a simple way, it excellently expressed the cruelty of the war. It was simple but powerful. After I saw this film, I was shocked first, then sadly. “Super Power” is successful. It had struck a responsive chord in the hearts of its audience. And the “Bani Adam” is also a film about politics, but in different ways. It used the realism style to show the people’s hypocrisy, cruelty and terror. I really appreciate him, not only for the fantastic films but also for his bravery. Every country has the political issues including China, but few people have the bravery to talk about politics. Noureddin ZarrinKelk used animation, the most visualized way, to express his thought of politics.

    In addition, I also love the “Amir Hamza the Lover, and the Dancing Zebra” very much. The whole film was humorous and interesting. I really love this style. And other works for children also showed Noureddin ZarrinKelk’s purity and innocence.

    I really appreciate the artist, Noureddin ZarrinKelk who can show his thoughts in various ways and expressed them wonderfully! I’m very lucky to have the chance to see his works and get a lot of inspiration. Looking forward to his new works!

  10. Chaoqi Zhang says:

    What a great pleasure having Mr. ZarrinKelk at USC for last week’s seminar, I was deeply moved by his sincere animation and his great personality, for I saw an extraordinary iran artist and a true man.

    Under the background of Iran Civil War, his political animations were quite concise but powerful and meaningful by using symbolical elements like plus and minus signs or the images of world map to express the relationship of fighting among countries and peoples, in this way, he exposed the horrible side of the war ironically, calling for peace and love from heart .

    His another talent work telling a nobody man accidentally found numerous diamonds and died for his endless greedy in 5 different ends stimulates our thoughts to the true value of life.

    Also I have great fun from his other work, the one showed us an amazing iran mythology with traditional iran art style, within which he wisely used the drum rhythm and the modern style performance to make fun of it. It’s a marvelous work.

    What I’ve learned most from Mr. ZarrinKelk is that a really good work should be from an artist’s true heart which concerns about our society and the world we all live in. And great thanks to Mr. ZarrinKelk, through his heartfelt works, he opened people’s eyes to see the light from the darkness.

  11. Tristan Dyer says:

    Mr. ZarrinKelk, I feel was one of the best presenters that I have seen for several reasons. I don’t remember him talking once about keyframes or commercial appeal. His films were very personal and he spoke about history, messages, and global perspective. “Superpowers,” and “Beni Adam,” were films that touched on the seemingly human prevalence toward war. You can trace where he was in his life also by the tone of his films, “Mad Mad World,” reflected a youthful observation on how the world works with a bit of optimism, while “Superpowers,” was a strong message against war. “A Playground for Baboush,” showed a lighter side of a new parent. The most recent work that we saw was “Beni Adam,” which reflected an older, pessimistic outlook on global politics. In this way I see Mr. Zarrinkelk’s body of work paralleling that of the legendary photographer Eugene Smith. In many ways they are similar, artists with a clear intent on how they want to change the world.

  12. Lisa Chung says:

    Of all the guest speakers I have heard since being in this program, Noureddin was the nicest, modest, most grounded and charming person I’ve met. I was not aware of his work before seminar but now I have such a profound respect for him as an artist and human being. I absolutely adored his film Baboosh. I loved everything about it from the art style to the fact that it was about his son. I was amazed to find out that it was all done in cutout. I am super fascinated with mixing patterns, color and B+W drawings. Noureddin was able to combine these elements so beautifully. His work will definitely be a source of reference for my current and future work. Thanks Noureddin for sharing such inspiring animations.

    I would also like to thank Karoush (sorry if I am misspelling it) for providing additional information during lecture. It really helped tie in the work we saw and Noureddin’s answers to our questions.

  13. Larry Lai says:

    Noureddin Zarrinkelk’s animations demonstrate a universal theme with his native language. On one hand, he has many creative ideas and stylish patterns inspired by the Iranian culture, which composes the expression of telling a story. On the other hand, the works he created showcase such worldwide themes as politics, humanity, wars and so on. With the themes built upon the animations, we can understand what he’s trying to communicate with us. This is what I’m looking for—an animation delivers a speech to the world with my own cultural style. This might be the way that you can outstand from others and also share the ideas with others. Take Dancing Zebra for example, the materials Noureddin Zarrinkelk used are so exotic or Iranian for me and I like it, which was not strange at all; instead, it is a gorgeous demonstration that I never met before. Most of all, I can understand it. The theme is a love story that we enjoy a lot. From Noureddin Zarrinkelk, I find the clue to make my animation go further in the future.

  14. Dan Wilson says:

    What I appreciated most about Mr. ZarrinKelk’s films was their unifying sense of humor. Though they deal with serious issues, the humor makes Noori’s films not only accessible but appealing. The Mad, Mad, Mad World was an unexpected and pleasant start to his presentation. My favorite segment of the night was the series of diamond-based short films. They had an underlying message about greed, but they were entertaining regardless of the message. The short-format gags remind me of something like Tom & Jerry, and I hope The Golden Pen decides to revisit his series some day.

  15. Joseph Yeh says:

    Creating wonderful animation with purpose and imagination is enlightenment. Disney and Zarrinkelk, both fathers of animation, always experimented. This made them constantly new and innovative and allowed them to further understand themselves. A great animator might have a distinct style, a strong message, or even a great understanding of what people like. But I feel that the best animators are “enlightened”; they know themselves so well that their vision is perfect. They have this fearlessness that lets their imagination run loose. When Noureddin ZarrinKelk said “you are never sure what will happen the next day”, I he was also telling us to just do it- carpe diem! Or maybe they are just so lost they they are free.

    On another note, in Nouri’s A Playground for Babousch I felt the fantastic power of youth in simple imaginative storytelling! Furthermore, his piece Amir Hamza the Lover and the Dancing Zebra had astounding ideation and there was deep deep experience and meaning within the creativity. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  16. I had a great time with Noureddin and work. I like how his work always had multiple layers and how those layers made his project substantially more profound. I thought the first film we saw was just fun exercise with turning the map into animals until he asked the class “what happened when the war ended but before peace broke out”. Just rewatching that film with the subtext in mind completely opened up my mind to how I can make my own films that much more substantial. I certainly intend to do so. I was also glad to see the works that featured a very strong Iranian art style. I really haven’t seen to much that looks like it and I loved the experience.

  17. Brandon Lake says:

    I am now and forever more a Noureddin ZarrinKelk fan. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such well done and thought provoking animation that wasn’t overwhelming in it’s message and/or design. The simplicity of his images in films like Super powers, really conveys complex situations in such an aesthetically pleasing manner. What also helped with the reception of his animations, was that he also seemed to be a genuine individual. His work was inspired by the events of his life, but he didn’t feel as if he was a preacher trying to tell of the coming damnation. He was jovial and more than willing to give insight into his thoughts. I’m very happy to have seen his films and meet the man responsible.

  18. Louis Morton says:

    There’s no doubt this was an amazing seminar. What I found most inspiring was the extremely diverse range of styles and how each style was appropriate for its film’s subject matter. I’ve always been a huge fan of animation that can tell a meaningful story through simple icons and movements, so Superpowers was probably my favorite film of the night. Though Mr. ZarrinKelk mentioned that the film was a reaction to the Iran-Iraq war, he also implied that the message of the film was broad enough to be applied to any war or conflict. The metaphor of the plus and minuses may seems simple at first, but the movement of the symbols and the progression of the film along with the use of sound builds up to tell a very powerful story. This film along with The Mad, Mad, Mad World both used extremely simple but incredibly well designed sequences that made their messages crystal clear. I find animation most inspiring when it takes icons that we see every day and gives them life in brand new ways. In this way I thought both Superpowers and The Mad, Mad, Mad World seemed completely fresh, like something a studio would create using After Effects today. The other films were very beautiful and powerful, but the for some reason raw directness of these two really stuck with me. Thank you Mr. ZarrinKelk for an influential and powerful seminar!

  19. I’ve always wondered about the place an artist should have in society. Plato suggested that artists should be expelled from the republic for being creators of lies and Hitler used artists to create the image of a perfect nation into the minds of his Nazi followers. So, more than people that make beautiful pictures, artists have the ability to create meaning and model thought.

    Mr. Zarrinkelk is an inspiring figure because he understands this responsibility, he commits to the idea of speaking out against what he considers wrong with society. Plus, he does it in a country with an explicit regime of repression and censorship, with little concern about his personal repercussions. All the respect and admiration is well deserved.

    At first, I was pretty concerned because I started wondering about his first films compared to his latest work (Bani Adam). I was reminded about that old Nietzche quote “when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back”, and wondered if all the people that dares to create based on the dark side of humanity is condemned to become cynical and bitter.

    Fortunately we were lucky enough to have Mr. Zarrinkelk (and other set of speakers) to put that work into context. Someone so committed to constructing art and meaning cannot be catalogued as cynical. His work is a diverse mixture of references from folklore, movies and experiences that goes from subtle and poetic images; to scandalizing, blunt and “in your face” sequences. I think he knows when whisper is enough and a shout is necessary.

    I really appreciate artists like Noureddin Zarrinkelk, his allegiance to the values of justice, equality and peace, is an influence all artists should be exposed to.

    He is a great inspiration and I have to thanks all the people involved in bringing him to our school.

  20. Cecilia De Jesus says:

    The seminar with Noureddin ZarrinKelk was really quite an enterntaining and enlightening experience. I enjoyed getting to see his various work throughout the years and I’m grateful I got to see even more of his work at his presentation on Sunday. I found it interesting to see the evolution of his work and to see how his general themes stayed the same and rang true to audiences even today. I also loved how Zarrinkelk’s films had such a wonderful quirkiness and warmth of character. It was amazing how symbols as plain and graphic as a “plus” and “minus” sign took on a life our their own and a blank background became a world for them to live in. I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible for ZarrinKelk to visit and share his time and work. This includes, Kurosh ValaNejad, Lisa Mann, Christine Panushka, Kathy Smith, and of course many others. Thanks again to ZarrinKelk for being so generous with his passion and time.

  21. Linda Jules says:

    I was fascinated by the range of styles that ZarrinKelk presented in seminar last week. His films were a rare mix of abstraction mixed with clear narrative. It was also a great learning experience to see his growth and development throughout his career.

    The piece that I was most touched by was the 5 episode series of shorts. They were humorous and suspenseful, and the stories were wonderful at delivering a clear message. Thank you to Mr. ZarrinKelk for such a unique and intriguing seminar.

  22. I was not able to attend ZarrinKelk’s seminar, as I was ill, but I was able to find out quite a bit about him and his work outside of class. After viewing some of his work, I am greatly disappointed that I was not able to attend his lecture. I enjoy the whimsy with which ZarrinKelk approaches his work. That is not to say his subject matter is always light or humorous. The whimsy of his work is the joy the audience can see in his enthusiasm for his work. The unquestioned dedication to the medium is evident both in the messages communicated by his work and the medium itself. That is to say, the form and content are both enthusiastically displayed. The experimentation in his work in style and mode of production is also evidence of his love for the medium. Some animators are great storytellers and choose animation for their medium. Others are great artists and want to communicate through time. ZarrinKelk seems to be a great and enthusiastic animator.

  23. Eric Tortora Pato says:

    I’ll tell ya, the thing that really got me about the long catalog of work we saw from Mr. ZarrinKelk was the wild variety of aesthetics (from the Plimpton-like UN piece to the Saul Bass like Superpowers, which, with a bit of time to boil, was, I believe, my favorite of the group) and tone (from light to dark), and yet the constant consistency of his artistic touch, especially in sense of humor and pacing. I love it when an artist can change styles so adpetly but still be loudly heard with in each new mode, and Mr. ZarrinKelk, with his iconoclastic and clever satire, fulfills that to a T. We should all hope to be able to live lives that long with uncompromised artistic vision.

  24. Chen Huang says:

    This is definitely an awesome event… It shows us what effects only animation can do…
    When I saw his first work in the theater…I thought the movement and smooth transition
    is the most fluent ones I have seen…….Also, the composition of his images are really
    something we have to look at… The one people watching films in the theater has the best
    theater shots ….in the scene .the audience are fat and gross, black and white, but it really
    caught my eyeballs…

  25. Robert Calcagno says:

    Unfortunately I left before the end of the seminar but was nonetheless heavily impressed and charmed by the work of ZarrenKelk. His life story is in and of itself inspiring as I’m sure the culture of his home country is intolerable towards the arts, even art that is in sync with their value system. It’s a consistent acknowledgment in that even in the roughest corners of the world can come beautiful art.

    What was most impressive was the versatility of his work and how he can change it seamlessly from story to story. Each of his shorts looks like it belonged to a different animator, even different studios and eras. His world short being reminiscent of 1970s indie animation, the Saul Bass-esque Superpowers, Bani Adam utilizing modern animation styles, Babousch having a simple storybook quality, and the five shorts about greed having a UPA simplicity about it…multiple styles each conveying themes and morals that speak to people of all ages.

    Having studied Arabic films, there’s a sense of pessimism that seems to be too much of a singular vision of the world. ZarrenKelk’s work speaks to all cultures and to all ages (for the most part); it’s more wisdom then a political statement. I can only hope I can provide a library of shorts of such acclaim and ponderment.

  26. Noureddin Zarrinkelk is my inspiration.

    • Nesli Erten says:

      پروفسور زرینکلک گرامی،

      از ماه اکتبر گذشته که سخنرانی شما را شنیدم، سرگذشت شما برای من مایه الهام بوده است. فکر نمیکنم که قبلا توانسته ام احساسات خودم را در قالب کلمات بیان کنم. زیرا کلمات از بیان آنچه که میخواهم بگویم عاجز هستند. امیدوارم که این پیام گوشه ای از تقدیر من را نشان دهد. و همچنین امیدوارم که همانطور که شما در کشور خود، ایران، و در مقیاس بزرگتر، در دنیا، مایه اثر بوده اید من هم در کشور خودم ترکیه اثربخش باشم.

      شاگرد کوچک شما،

    • dear Emre; I found your writing today after years!!!
      thank you for your Farsi writing.
      are you helpful in turkkieh already?
      good luck

  27. Andrew Malek says:

    Seeing Noureddin ZarrinKelk was a charming experience, not only was his work entertaining and thought provoking, but also his life as an artist is incredibly inspiring. It was quite the opportunity to see how Noureddin’s work evolved as he grew from young artist to elderly man, in addition it was interesting to see how his content varied based on the political situation in Iran. Rarely does one get to see such a wide range of work, allowing us to see the inner workings of Noureddin’s mind.

    While I think it is easier to prefer Noureddin’s more earlier, light-hearted works, I was also struck by the maturity and wisdom contained in his political work. While one could say that there resides some pessimism in his animation regarding the inevitability of conflict, it also shows a surprising lack of bias. In all of Noureddin’s work there is no single entity to blame for conflict, we are all responsible for the state if the world. The global reverberations of selfish action were also beautifully illustrated in the film where the man finds diamond, a film with another incredibly mature and wise message.

    Perhaps the most amazing thing about Noureddin ZarrinKelk is his seamless fusion between style and content. All of his films look amazing, but they do not exist for mere entertainment, in each one ZarrinKelk has something vital to teach us. I hope he continues to dazzle us with more fine animation.

  28. Jay Kim says:

    Very few times a seminar guest will leave an impression on me so strong that I will inspire to emulate him/her more for their mindset rather than for their artistic abilities. Not to take anything away from Noori’s amazing animations, but I admired his intentions a million times more. Like Noori, one of my driving forces as an artist has always been to bring people together whether it be through a message of love, peace, or commonality all wrapped up in a warm blanket of humor. Thus it was refreshing when, for possibly the first time ever of a seminar guest, Noori told us to “make love” after watching his first screening about a commentary of war.

    It is impossible for me to pretend that I can understand the difficulties Noori has had to live through being a political artist from Iran, but I can understand his pure joy when we as his audience made him feel young and happy being in front of him; his vision has touched many people’s lives all over the world, a feeling Noori wholeheartedly deserves.

  29. Javier B says:

    Wow, wow, wow, truly shock n awh!. Noureddin ZarrinKelk total inspiration, his films say some much and are so deep in content and meaning, yet the style is very simplified. The simplicity of the films works well ,to convey the idea the message and meaning. Noureddin ZarrinKelk it a true humanitarian and a leader in the in unifying, humanity and world in harmony , “make love not war”.

  30. Ryan Gillis says:

    there’s something really relaxing and enjoyable about viewing the works of man that has been completely self-driven. His films felt whimsical and intuitive, like he made them for himself and they just happened to really enjoyable to others as well.
    The broad range of styles he used to get his message across is definitely one of the elements that gave off a feeling of experimentation and fun. It was nice to see similar themes carry on throughout work with very disparate styles because I feel like I’m working in almost an opposite way. I haven’t quite found a voice yet, in terms of the story I want to tell, so I’m focusing on creating a visual library that I can call my own.
    Noureddin ZerrinKelk carried a confidence and playful irreverence that permeated his works, and made last Wednesday’s seminar one of the most relaxed and intimate seminars yet.

  31. Miguel Jiron says:

    Noureddin Zerrin Kelk was easily the most entertaining and enjoyable seminar this semester yet. It is such a shame that he is banned from teaching in Iran; his presence, charm, humor and focus seemed so natural in the lecture. I missed Sunday so these were the only films I was able to catch at his visit to USC. They were all very charming; the early work had a very Gil Alkabetz type of feel (simple geometric character animation with a predator/prey dynamic stand-in for political metaphor). It is always interesting to see political elements in successful animated short films to me. It’s so easy to be heavy-handed and have no room for subtlety- it’s a mystery to me to see how to pull it off. His films do though and somehow transcend its pointed messages (at least his early ones to me). Ultimately, maybe its why I enjoyed his children’s film the most. Its pure simplicity and gorgeous color and linework seemed content to stand without an explicit outside reading. I hope we get to see more filmmakers of his stature and interest in the upcoming weeks.

  32. Emily Chung says:

    Of all the guest speakers that I hard since being in this class, John Frame was my favor designer that I have meet in seminar. I adore his works a lot. The detail of those dolls he made is truly amazing. It was like he puts the soul into his character. Not mention how great that he did for the character design. For me words cannot describe the beauty of his works.
    I love those kind detail art works since I was little, so when I saw Mr. Frame’s works I was totally speechless, and I admire him spend 5 years for just only making this project. During these five years people even think he might despairs from the art industry. However, he shows up five years later with this incredible art works. I wish he can open a class in our department.

  33. A.W. Gammill says:

    It was very nice to see a selection of animation from Iran and for their creator, Mr. Noureddin ZarrinKelk to share his experiences and processes with us. It is always wonderful to be reminded of the powerful messages that animation can hold and convey. Because animation has no limitations, artists the world over can use it as a way to express ideas, ideals, emotions, struggles and aspirations. This seminar was a great reminder of the ultimate influence and limitless potential of animation to bridge gaps, or create them; educate or entertain.

    It was very nice for Mr. Noureddin ZarrinKelk to come and share his work with us.

  34. LaMar Ford says:

    It was great meeting Mr. ZarrinKelk.The princess zebra short was entertaining despite the bad quality of print. The style and animation of the dancing Zebra is still mesmerizing after watching it a couple of times.

    His transition from children’s and family animation to politically driven shorts interest me. His work reflects the times after the Iranian Revolution. Despite the fear of speaking out, ZarrinKelk uses animation to express himself. “Super Powers” is a great short showing how two symbols create a powerful message. His recent short “Bani Adam” was more overt and “in your face” with the message. Although all diplomats are working towards peace in the UN, some people will still fight and cause destruction. It’s very pessimistic, but what ZarrinKelk hopes is people will take something from his work.

  35. Di Gu says:

    It’s really a great experience with Zarrin Kelk. I was fascinated by the range of styles which he presented in seminar. From narrative to abstraction, it seems there is no restriction for him to present his idea. Also, I was surprised how he can tell us a children’s beautiful tale, and meantime he also focus on some sharp political themes. The piece that I was most touched by was the animation he made for his son. They were humorous, and the stories were wonderful at delivering a clear message. In the end, I have to say Zarrin Kelk is really a great artist, who need to be honored.

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