Saturday, 22 June 2013

Taboor - EIFF 2013

A man lies on a camp bed in a room covered in silver foil.

He has a shock of pure white hair and a beard that can only be described as impressive.

The man stands up and pulls a silver foil jump suit from a hanger on the wall.

After he has dressed in the foil suit he pulls on a layer of beige clothes to hide disguise it.

Finally he puts on a motorcycle helmet and leaves the room.

This is how Iranian science fiction begins.

The man is trying to protect himself from electromagnetic fields...or he may be mad.

He is a pest control agent.

He rides his motorcycle around a city making a series of stops and encountering a variety of different people.

Dialogue is non-existent.

There is no music.

The hum of machinery.

Diegetic sound.

A flicker of voice over.

"Taboor" is unsettling and disquieting.  It has an almost eery quality.  At various points one expects something...more, to happen.  When the man begins to claw the plaster from a wall in pursuit of some pest or other one feels that something terrible lurks behind.  That something more never really materialises, which serves only to heighten the tension and unease.

In one Lynchian moment the man meets a dwarf, undresses in front of him, places a metal wastepaper basket on his head and stands erect while an air gun is fired at him.  When the last shot has been fired the dwarf tends to him.  This isn't the only moment that has the feel of David various points I was reminded of both "Twin Peaks" and "Inland Empire".  Shadows, corridors, a dwarf, awkward encounters, isolation, solitude, quiet...all recurring motifs in the work of Lynch.

In the same week that I had to endure Melanie Phillips telling a nationwide audience that she believed that Iran needed to be "neutralised" it was good to be reminded, again, what a creative and poetic country Iran is.  A film as unique and startling as "Taboor" is not the product of a people or a country who need to be neutralised but who need to be supported and encouraged.


  1. My kind of film! Glad to see you back!

  2. I think there's a lot of merit in sleeping in aluminium foil.
    Missed this film but I think it's possibly a bit to "arty farty can't kid your aunty" for me.