One of the nice discoveries in my role as manager and chief film-picker for the Cape Breton Island Film Series has been the movies of Ramin Bahrani, the Iranian-American director of dramas like Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and Goodbye Solo. Bahrani portrays the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in a naturalistic style that is almost documentary in character. We were the only film series in Canada to show Chop Shop; by the time Goodbye Solo came out a year later, Bahrani’s movies were de rigueur on the indie circuit.
Bahrani grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Roger Ebert calls him “the new great American director.” Charlie Rose, the US Public Broadcasting Systems wonderful interviewer, talks with him here. Last September, the Venice Film Festival debuted an 18-minute Bahrani short that is an anthropomorphic account of the life of a plastic bag. In a whimsical touch, Bahrani tapped Werner Herzog, bad boy director of Grizzly Man and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, to voice the part of the bag.
Last week, Bahrani released Plastic Bag on YouTube, which gives me the chance to show it to you: