Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"Everything rests on Ansari - in gesture and step, in glance, in gaze."

A woman on a bus, at night - late shifts this week, and next. There's a digression to be made about the liminal spaces of public transport and film, about depictions of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised and discriminated-against as they journey by coach, one that runs from the concrete racism of New York civil-engineering to the dancing raindrops on a window in The Shape Of Water. That can wait. On her way home, Pedram Ansari's worried mother cannot, eventually.

She sees something - as the posters say, says something. There are consequences.

Screening as part of Glasgow's 2018 Short Film Festival's opening gala, What Makes A Glasgow Short?, festival director Matt Lloyd had observed that Iranian film is just better than other film - it's sometimes hard to argue with that contention, and Negah/Gaze is one of those times. There are faces that will be familiar - Babak Karimi is the bus driver, and while you might know him from A Separation, I'm fonder of his turn (and turns) in Fish & Cat. He's more ancillary here, a tiny outpost of authority, but it ends where the bus stops. Everything rests on Ansari - in gesture and step, in glance, in gaze.

Farnoosh Samadi directs, co-writes with frequent collaborator Ali Asgari, and this is yet another example of their award-winning talent. It's a minimal piece, a single journey, but that gets you Odyssey and Anabasis, Thelma & Louise and Bill & Ted - somewhere differently is this film - one that rewards observation, invites speculation, a film not just subtitled but that invites reading.

Reviewed on: 15 Mar 2018
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Gaze packshot
A woman witnesses an incident on the bus.

Director: Farnoosh Samadi

Writer: Ali Asgari, Farnoosh Samadi

Starring: Pedram Ansari, Babak Karimi, Amirreza Ranjbaran, Marzieh Vafamehr, Pedram Ansari, Babak Karimi, Amirreza Ranjbaran, Marzieh Vafamehr

Year: 2017

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Iran, Italy


GSFF 2018

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