Babak Najafi isn’t an especially well known director. Born in Iran and emigrating to Sweden at the age of 11, he’s largely directed short films and documentaries. However, his feature debut Sebbe was best film at Guldbaggegalan and won him a gold bear at the Berlin Film Festival for best debut film.
So despite the episode itself being something of a departure for the show – a road trip of sorts encompassing life evaluations and musings on the nature of relationships, rather than its usual brutality and sex – it was somewhat surprising to see that Friday's episode of Banshee, The Truth About Unicorns, was directed by Najafi. Certainly the look of it was something else altogether, a tour de force visually, as you can probably see in parts of the promo (some sligt spoilers for UK viewers, obviously) and from the picture above.
He's up directing the next episode, Armies of One, too, but here's hoping to much more TV exposure for Najafi, so he can enliven US TV with new ideas*.
* I should probably point out that Banshee is one of the most interestingly diverse shows on TV anyway, as it stars a New Zealander (Antony Starr), a Dane (Ulrich Thomsen), a Korean-American (Hoon Lee), two African-Americans (Demetrius Grosse, Frankie Faison), a Yugoslavian/Sarajevan-American (Ivana Milicevic), a Brit (Ben Cross) and a Filipino-Chinese-Spanish-German-Scottish-American (Anthony Ruiviar), and is set in a town with significant nearby populations of Native Americans and Amish, as well as Ukrainians (now). Good work guys.
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Watch True Detective’s six-minute long tracking shot
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What I watched in the week ending 14th February 2014
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A third-episode verdict on Cinemax/Sky Atlantic's Quarry