A Shamelessly Passionate Endorsement for the Films of Ramin Bahrani at the Walker Art Center TONIGHT!

Ian Power

       The flood of critical acclaim following the release of Ramin Bahrani’s  heartwrenching 2005 debut "Man Pushes Cart," may have thrust him into the artistic spotlight, but it is his two equally respected follow up films "Chop Shop" (2007) and "Goodbye Solo" (2009) that have earned him the status of major director after only three feature length productions.

       The 34 year old Iranian-American Filmmaker, who was raised in Winston-Salem North Carolina, recieved a B.A. in film and later a teaching job from Columbia University.  He spent three years in his family’s native Iran while completing his thesis film for Columbia: "Strangers" finished in 2000.  Following the completion of his thesis, Bahrani lived in Paris before returning to the U.S. to begin work on his debut "Man Pushes Cart,"  which follows an ex-iranian popstar turned street vendor through his economic struggles and disillusionment in New York City. The film took home a slough of international awards including "Best First Film" from the International Spirit Awards as well as the FIPRESCI prize at the London Film Festival. His second and third releases have taken home more of the same, in 2008 Goodbye Solo" was an official selection at the Venice Film Festival, before being released to North American audiences earlier this year.  Bahrani’s neo-realist documentary style comes complete with non-actors, small crews, and little patience for the artificial. His films are tight, well-crafted tales of people on the fringes of society, the sleepless forgotten who work to keep the hum of the city constant.  Although sometimes bleak in subject, Bahrani lends an infinite amount of humanity to his characters making them brilliantly interesting, culturally enigmatic and engrossing when on screen.

       The Walker Art Center’s Target Free Thursdays will feature "Man Pushes Cart" at 7pm tonight followed by "Chop Shop" at 8:45pm at no cost to the public.  "Goodbye Solo" will be premiered to audiences Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. $8 ($6 Walker Members).  The films will be supplemented by a master class with Ramin Bahrani at 1 p.m. Friday April 3, in which the director/writer will discuss the making of his films. $12 ($10 Walker/IFP Members).