Would Love To Watch::Critic After Dark: Taxi (Jafar Panahi)

 

Taxi Poster

Self-reflexive metacinema is a common device in Iranian films; everyone from Abbas Kiarostami to Mohsen Makhmalbaf has dabbled in it, and Panahi’s own take is pretty good–The Mirror, about a young girl trying to make her way home who suddenly decides to quit the director’s film and make her own way home (think Shirley Temple walking off the set of Wee Willie Winkie and you can imagine the consternation caused). In this film the meta-premise manages to keep us on our toes, trying to guess what is fiction and what is not. Along the way Panahi satirizes Iran’s political censorship apparatus; gives us a day-in-the-life snapshot of Tehran that also celebrates the people’s resiliency in the face of adversity (government oppression included); and does it all with a deft humorous touch–while under threat of imprisonment, and in direct defiance of a filmmaking ban. If that’s not big brass balls (on a man with a perpetual grin and the kindliest eyes) I don’t know what is.

Source: Critic After Dark: Taxi (Jafar Panahi)