(Persia Digest) - American journalist Grant Phipps has written a review of the film "Kupal" directed by Kazem Mollaei, posted on the art website, tonemadison.com, and calls the film a surreal thriller.

American journalist, Grant Phipps has posted a review titled "Kupal, a psychological film about a fat taxidermist" on the occasion of the Wisconsin Iranian Film Festival on the American art website, tonemadison.com.

Here is his review of the film: “In short, Kupal could be described as a surreal survival thriller or an absurdist tragedy that borrows and amalgamates elements from Roman Polanski's most theatrically rooted and trenchant works, Kafka's Metamorphosis, and even a bit of James Wan's Saw (2004). Mollaei immediately relays his thematic intentions through Kupal's self-imposed living situation, as he holes up in a sizable compound that's extensively branded with fragmented, futuristic-looking logos of a canine (perhaps his obedient German Shepherd, Haiku) and scrutinized with seemingly innumerable surveillance (GoPro) cameras.

What contact Kupal has with the outside world lingers on sporadic visits from his estranged wife Firoozeh (Nazanin Farahani), who attempts to break Kupal's pattern of paranoid and destructive behaviors with an emotionally charged ultimatums that threaten his livelihood. In his occupational fortress, Kupal should be exerting utter control through technology, and yet a polar opposite and ironic scenario begins to take shape as one of his heavily fortified security doors malfunctions and prevents him from leaving the grounds.

Adept use of slow-motion effects plays into the film's progressively voyeuristic and comically doomed qualities, while Mollaei's escalating narrative twists challenge the nature of reality, forcing Kupal to cope in the most unusual ways. At its core, Kupal is an anxious portrait of our inherent interspecific bonds and a criticism of the psychologically dismantling effects of an artificially constructed environment.”

The second edition of Wisconsin Iranian Film Festival was held from 17 to 25 February, managed by Hamidreza Nasiri, a Ph.D. student of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin.

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