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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Holy shit, is this an impressive film. I haven’t seen anything this original in a long time and it’s going to be hard to get across just how unusual and accomplished it is, so you’re just going to have to imagine a smooth Iranian mixture of Russian Ark, Satantango, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Territory, The Blair Witch Project and Primer.

Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before (spoilers!): there’s this bunch of kids camping by a lake, and unspeakable things are happening in the woods (don’t go into the woods!). And then there’s this kite-flying competition happening later that night, so let’s talk about kite design. What's up with that pair of one-armed twins carrying a couple of live ducks? Oh, and time keeps turning back on itself and you may feel a certain sense of déjà vu. And there’s a valve that we’ll need to turn off if we don’t want to flood the campsite. It’s just up there, a little bit further, honey, a little deeper into the woods. That kid who made the mixtape you really like? Dead. That’s why you might hear him whispering in the silences. I’m listening to you and taking part in this conversation we’re having, but this is what I’m really thinking. Hey, can you smell rancid meat? Oh, and time keeps turning back on itself and you may feel a certain sense of déjà vu. And where is everybody, anyway? Hey, isn’t that your ex-girlfriend who now lives in Lyon? What’s she doing here? No, I don’t see anybody leaning on your car, what are you talking about? Oh goody. My favourite band, and just in time.

It’s an insanely complex film, with a bumper crop of moments in which the reality of what you’re seeing dissolves, coalesces and reassembles into something eerie and strange. It runs for well over two hours and unfolds in a single handheld shot. It’s an astonishing technical achievement and must have been a bitch to rehearse, especially since, within that two plus hour performance there are bits of business and conversations that recur four or five times. The one-shot nature of the shoot is fully exploited for reinforcing the strangeness of the temporal recursions (as well as a couple of effective shock moments when a character turns up in a spot they can’t possibly be). And the film actually turns out to be much more elusive and metaphysical that you first suspect. For the first half hour, it feels like it could just turn out to be an extremely stylistically elaborate genre piece, then something memorably strange happens and from that point on the strangeness slowly gathers force and the genre elements start to fall like scales – though without ever losing a penetrating sense of (well-earned) dread.

Anyway, it’s a stunning achievement and I urge you all to track it down.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:09 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:02 pm
Did you view it theatrically or is there a home video release?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:04 am 
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Location: SLC, UT
It's currently on the festival circuit. Hopefully someone will pick it up at some point for wider release.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:02 pm
swo17 wrote:
It's currently on the festival circuit. Hopefully someone will pick it up at some point for wider release.

I hope so, for some reason my partner and I decided to move to the middle of nowhere to raise our newborn and it's been impossible to see anything outside of the mainstream features.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:07 pm 
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I have a gnawing dread that this is one of those films that I'll never see again. It's been out nearly a year now (debuted at Venice), and the only international distributor to pick up on it is Trigon (for Germany / Austria). So keep an eye on amazon.de, I guess, but don't expect English subs!

On the other hand, it looks like Llinas' Extraordinary Stories might finally be getting a release after all these years, so miracles can happen!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am
zedz wrote:
On the other hand, it looks like Llinas' Extraordinary Stories might finally be getting a release after all these years, so miracles can happen!

How and where? I've been kicking myself about missing its brief run for three years now.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:36 pm 
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I can't provide a link because their site appears to be down now, but it's coming soon from Intermedio (who, for instance, did last year's great Portabella set).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:35 pm
Just caught this. Mixed feelings -- it's an astonishing feat on many levels but I need it to sink in. Now imagining it as a looped installation.

Will note that Zedz can catch it again as it's touring Australia as part of the Iranian Film Festival.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:23 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Screening at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on January 17 and 21.

http://www.mfa.org/programs/series/boston-festival-films-iran-0


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:16 am 

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 6:40 pm
Screening at the Freer Gallery in DC on January 16 (with Mokri in person) and January 18.

Also hitting the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on January 23 (with Mokri in person).


Last edited by Keyrek on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:47 pm
Extremely intrigued by this from the description, reviews, and videos. May need to make the trek to DC or Boston, but hopefully there will be a blu-ray release fairly soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles
April 26 @ UCLA. Mokri in person.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:58 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:47 pm
So looks like this is available on DVD: https://www.trigon-film.org/en/movies/Fish_Cat

Any word on a blu-ray release anywhere?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:47 pm
Fish & Cat was shortlisted by Iran for their Oscar submission but they did not go with it. Any chance it's actually released in the US on blu-ray by anyone?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:16 pm
Just order the region-free PAL DVD, dude. It's not a flawless presentation, but it is solid. And the film is too damn interesting to wait to see (I just missed it at UCLA in the spring). You'll want to see it more than once anyway. All of my most discerning film nerd friends around here were blown away by it in exactly the way zedz (who thoroughly nails this film's unique achievement and multifacted appeal) was. I think the only thing I have to add to his assessment, until I've seen it at least a few more times, is that, while you're taking it in from the first time, the film is just so subtle and shapeshifting, it keeps challenging your idea of what kind of thing it is you think you're watching. Even before it gets really weird, there are impressive shifts in tone and attention to include moments of drama and comedy that you wouldn't expect in a film like this, some seriously accomplished humanistic storytelling about relationships that wouldn't be out of place in any first-rate if far more ordinary dramedy from anywhere in the world.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
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I tried to order the dvd from the Trigon Film site (26 euro shipped) and it never goes through. Tried last month, and again right now. I emailed them the first time and did not get an answer.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:06 pm 
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D50 wrote:
I tried to order the dvd from the Trigon Film site (26 euro shipped) and it never goes through. Tried last month, and again right now. I emailed them the first time and did not get an answer.
Sorry to hear that D50. It wasn't my experience. I don't remember whether it ended up being easier to check out with PayPal or with just a credit card, but one of them seemed way less complicated as part of their whole site's process and I think it was just a using a credit card. My order shipped almost right away.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:24 pm 
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D50 wrote:
I tried to order the dvd from the Trigon Film site (26 euro shipped) and it never goes through. Tried last month, and again right now. I emailed them the first time and did not get an answer.

I just placed an order, and my first attempt evaporated when I tried to check out (during which process I registered and activated my account). Refilled my basket and the second time through it worked fine, but I noticed that on the successful attempt, once I was logged in, the items went into my basket with the Euro price attached. First time around they registered as Swiss francs (CHF). So make sure that you're registered and logged in before you start shopping to avoid a similar glitch.

Trigon have got plenty of other items of interest with English subs, specifically a bunch of films by Fernando Solanas and Souleymane Cisse.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:47 pm
Any chance Criterion or one of the smaller outlets take a chance on this?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:38 pm 
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jmj713 wrote:
Any chance Criterion or one of the smaller outlets take a chance on this?

You mean the Tootsie Criterion?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
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I really want to see this, but can't seem to find it in the US. And, there doesn't seem to be a place to stream it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Yikes, I just tried playing this DVD Oppo-upscaled on a 100" screen and it looked atrocious. A blocky digital mess not helped by the camera being in constant motion. I'll have to try to watch it again later on a smaller screen where the problems won't be as noticeable.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:34 pm 
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What region is your DVD from, SWO?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:58 pm 
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It's the R0 PAL one discussed above, the only game in town.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:38 pm 
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I watched this disc the other night and it looked fine on a regular sized screen. Some unfortunate digital shimmer, but not enough to be too distracting. Nevertheless, it'd be a shame if the Trigon was the best we ever got. The making of is unsubbed, which is a shame, since I bet it's a great story.


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