saw babak jalali’s frontier blues on sunday night at the walter reade theater, it was showing as part of the new directors/new films 2010 program.
the film follows 4 male characters (all misfits, played by non-professional actors), living in the golestan province of iran (in and around gorgan specifically), which is near the border of turkmenistan, through their lonely and somewhat uneventful lives.
the film was beautifully shot- gorgeous landscapes and well-composed, colorful (in that 70’s green/brown color palette kind of way that i love) interior shots- and was very funny at times. plus one of the characters drags a donkey around with him everywhere he goes, the donkey has some sass & is very likeable & cute!
but i found some faults, the film seemed too long for the 4 stories told (the director was there doing a q&a and said that he had cut 2 other character’s stories out of the film, i wish he had explained further why he did because i think the film would have benefitted from these additional stories), and the jokes running throughout the movie were repeated a few times too many, so towards the end of the film i actually started getting annoyed when i could tell the joke was going to be told again.
the film did give a glimpse into a part of the world that i am not that familiar with so i am grateful that this film was produced, and now i want to check out more iranian films.