- 29 Mar 10
A travelogue that works as a fine musical primer on the Iranian scene.
A young guy and a girl, Negar and Ashkan, are just out of prison when they decide to form a band. They soon trawl around the clandestine musical subcultures of the Tehran scene searching for like-minded creative types to compliment their own Casio-friendly plink plonk arrangements, a travelogue that works as a fine musical primer on the Iranian scene. Moving through makeshift performance spaces and secret clubs, pop pickers can enjoy Yellow Dog’s anti-American consumer anthem ‘New Century’ or Nikaein’s Farsi death metal gig in a cowshed.
Unhappily, there are complications for our retro electronica duo. Forbidden by the authorities to play, they dream of escaping to artistic freedom and to London. But with no passports, no money and no permission to perform, it’s difficult to see where they go from here.
Director Bahman Ghobadi’s latest film may be jollied along by a blisteringly eclectic soundtrack, but Persian Cats is not composed using the same ordered notation as its predecessors, Turtles Can Fly and A Time Of Drunken Horses. This is, rather, a snapshot of a scene and a very worthy document. Tellingly, many of the real life musicians featured have since left Tehran.