Fish & Cat

Iranian writer-director Shahram Mokri—whose second feature, Fish & Cat (2013), opens this year’s Festival of Films From Iran at Gene Siskel Film Center—has cited American slasher movies and the drawings of M.C. Escher as his primary influences for the film, which won a special prize for “innovative content” at the Venice film festival. The movie feels exactly like a fusion of those things: the setup recalls The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but the execution is almost impossibly tricky. Fish & Cat unfolds in a single 130-minute shot, though not in real time; there are frequent flashbacks and flash-forwards, and several scenes play out multiple times from different perspectives. I’m not sure whether Mokri has something more serious on his mind than playing an elaborate game; but even if Fish & Cat is just a game, it’s an engrossing, highly original one. Continue reading >>