Manohla Dargis Hypes Iran’s Fish & Cat

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By Richard Horgan Comments

Let’s start with the synopsis. Fish and Cat, North American premiering next week as part of the annual New Directors/New Films festival at MoMa and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is picking up where films like Rope and Timecode left off:

A bold experiment in perpetual motion with an enigmatic time-warp narrative, Fish & Cat plays out as one continuous shot, with the camera moving among a host of characters at a remote forest and a nearby lake. Gradually subverting a gruesome premise drawn from a real-life case of a backwoods restaurant that served human flesh, the film builds an atmosphere of tension as a menacing pair descend on a campsite where a group of college kids have gathered for a kite-flying festival…

Now, in a manner that this film does not, let’s jump-cut to NYT co-chief film critic Manohla Dargis. She tells her City Room colleagues that the Iranian entry and other offerings make this year’s edition a transportation must:

“People may want to get on a train or bus or car for this,” she said.

Fish & Cat won a special prize for innovation when it premiered last fall at the Venice International Film Festival. It is director Shahram Mokri‘s second feature.