Under the Shadow (2016)

Under the Shadow
Director: Babak Anvari
Writer: Babak Anvari
Cast: Narges RashidiAvin ManshadiBobby NaderiArash Marandi
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 26.10.2016

Shideh (Narges Rashidi) was barred from university because of her leftist politics, but now she hopes to return to university as the war between Iran and Iraq shakes Tehran. But it doesn’t work out that way. Downcast, she returns home to her husband Iraj (Bobby Naderi) and their daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi). When her husband – who works as a doctor, is called in, Shideh and Dorsa remain alone in their apartment. Iraj urges her to go to his parents’ place, but Shideh doesn’t want to confront his family, especially not after the bad news she’s had, and Dorsa is feverish, so she remains. When a missile strikes their building, the already fearful Dorsa is increasingly disturbed. And it does seem like something entered their home with the wind that now blows through the cracks.

Under the Shadow doesn’t just offer an absolutely interesting setting with Tehran in the 80s, but it’s also a super creepy film that manages to really scare. I loved it.

Continue reading

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Sheila VandArash MarandiMarshall ManeshMozhan MarnòDominic Rains
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]

Arash (Arash Marandi) lives in the dead-end of Bad City, a town full of drug addicts – like his father (Marshall Manesh). But his live changes when he meets the Girl (Sheila Vand), a vampire using Bad City as her hunting ground. Slowly Arash and the Girl get closer to each other.

I really wanted to like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I mean, an Iranian vampire western (which is how the film is introduced despite being shot in the USA by a British director)? How fucking awesome is that?! But unfortunately the film choked on its own coolness*. And it’s not even a proper vampire film.


Continue reading