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104 Ratings

Fish & Cat

Mahi va Gorbeh

Directed by Shahram Mokri
Iran, 2013


Sometimes, you think there is nothing new in cinema, and then, a film comes up and you feel embarrassed. Consisting of a 130-minute single take, Fish & Cat is just such a film.

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Fish & Cat Directed by Shahram Mokri
Mokri has cited American slasher movies and the drawings of M.C. Escher as his primary influences for the film. The movie feels exactly like a fusion of those things: the setup recalls The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but the execution is almost impossibly tricky… 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.
February 04, 2015
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The tone remains ominous throughout, with the two thugs and a third accomplice intruding at intervals, perhaps with murderous intentions. There’s also plenty of dark humor as well, and despite the slow unrolling of the action, the film remains absorbing throughout. Some viewers will be tempted to see the film on DVD/BD again, trying to work out the complicated looping chronology of the plot–possibly diagramming it, as the filmmakers presumably had to.
October 09, 2014
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There was one competition title that was outright revelatory. I speak of Shahram Mokri’s delightful, perplexing second feature, Mahi va Gorbeh (Fish and Cat). Was it really, as claimed, filmed in only one two hour-plus long shot? It both gives, and confounds, that very impression throughout, through a playful, Möbius strip-like approach to spinning a shaggy dog tale, folding in on itself at regular intervals by replaying earlier scenes with significant shifts of point-of-view.
July 11, 2014
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