As part of its 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6), the Queensland Art Gallery offers The Cypress and the Crow: 50 Years of Iranian Animation (until April 5, 2010) curated by Kathryn Weir.
Since I am a complete novice on the topic, I will share some of their program notes:
"The art of animation in Iran today draws on the artistic heritage of textile design, Persian folk tales and literature, calligraphy and miniature painting, as well as the motifs of interior design, ceramics and architecture. Animation is recognized in Iran as a medium which is closely related to drawing, painting and the graphic arts.
Many animations in The Cypress and the Crow: 50 Years of Iranian Animation feature animal figures — the crow, mouse, fox, goat and many more — which have literary and symbolic associations, and may be alter egos for humanity. The crow appears frequently in literature and animation as an animal which exhibits the baser human traits — selfishness, suspicion and greed — but is also crafty and intelligent. The cypress, sacred in Iran, is associated with the tree of life."
The only title that rang a bell with me was Persepolis (2007, below).
The French in me was attracted by the rooster imagery of Malek Khorshid 'The Sun King' 1975 showing on April 5 (above) and Gheseye Sib 'The Story of Apple' (2000, below) showing on January 25.
Best part is, this Iranian Animation Program is Free as are many of the other movie offerings at the Australian Cinematheque and a number of the museum's exhibits.
I will cover other aspects of the Asia Pacific Triennial in another piece.
Reasons to get animated about Iran.
(* all illustrations from the museum's pages).