The clip seems to be merely one episode in a series of playful but poignant encounters that exhibit Panahi’s impressive ability to find the space to yield rich expressions of humanity within the confines of a small car and the constraints of a restrictive society.
Watch: Berlin Winner Jafar Panahi Drives a Pair of Neurotic Passengers in Exclusive ‘Taxi’ Clip
Watch: Berlin Winner Jafar Panahi Drives a Pair of Neurotic Passengers in Exclusive 'Taxi' Clip
Despite living in Tehran with a 20-year ban from filmmaking, Jafar Panahi continues to produce at a more prodigious rate than most other filmmakers. “Taxi,” Panahi’s third feature film since his arrest by the Iranian state, sees the defiant director posing as a humble cab driver.
“Taxi” is a snapshot of modern Iran, filmed entirely with dashboard cameras. While Panahi’s 2011 self-reflexive “This is Not a Film” was made under house arrest, “Taxi” depicts a more mobile and playful Panahi as he continues to creatively maneuver around his ban from filmmaking. Perhaps taking after his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Kiarostami, who has also explored the public/private space of the automobile in films like “Ten,” Panahi appears set to once again blur the boundaries between what is real and what is staged in “Taxi.”
The humorous and humane exclusive clip above depicts an interaction between him and a pair of passengers and ensures that Panahi’s complete dedication to cinema remains unchanged. In the clip, Panahi navigates the streets of Tehran to deliver a pair of impatient women, fishbowl in tow, to an appointment at Ali springs. In the hilarious sequence that follows, Panahi, proving a better filmmaker than cabbie, is forced to deal with the wrath of these women when his abrupt braking leaves the beloved fish on the taxi’s floor.
Declared a masterpiece by Indiewire after it’s premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Golden Bear, “Taxi” will be released in theaters stateside on October 2. Check out the exclusive clip above.