Monday, 5 April 2010

No One Knows About Persian Cats - Cameo - 5/4/10

An Iranian film that follows two teens, Negar and Ashkan, as they attempt to secure the visas and passports that will allow them to leave the country and play some concerts in London. At the same time they need to gather musicians to play with them. What follows is, at least in part, an arresting look at life in a repressive regime for young people who simply want to play and make music.

I am a music obsessive...the posters on Ashkans wall for Joy Division and The Smiths could have been taken from my own adolescent walls...but I have to be honest and say that this film was ruined for me by the music. At times it felt like I was watching a Jools Holland Iranian special...and that isn't my idea of a good night. The music of Negar and Ashkan was fairly typical indie fare and, for my ears, tolerable but the heavy metal efforts of another group, the rap and the more traditional music all made me wish I had a remote control in hand to zap forward.

"Persepolis" covered very similar ground and managed to do it in a visually arresting way and with a more assured look at the regime that makes little things like music and fashion crimes. Director Bahman Ghobadi doesn't manage to do anything as interesting visually and there is little explanation for those who know little about life in Iran. Sadly, what had the makings of an interesting film never quite delivered and I was left wishing for the end to arrive long before it did.

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