Taxi Tehran (12A) Four stars

Dir: Jafar Panahi Runtime: 82 minutes

IRANIAN filmmaker Jafar Panahi once again defies the ban imposed on him by authorities to deliver a slice of life, Tehran-style. Posing as a taxi driver, the helmer of The White Balloon picks up a series of “fares”, all known to him, including a human rights activist and one very chatty niece. Through conversations and incidents, he gives us a passenger’s seat view of contemporary Iran, showing its people to be entrepreneurial, funny, wise, and just crazy enough to survive the strictures on them. The most amusing part is Panahi’s niece informing him what it takes to make a distributable film. Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin, Panahi’s determination to keep on working, despite the risk he could end up back in jail, rather put western filmmakers’ complaints about low budgets, etc, in perspective.

Glasgow Film Theatre, tomorrow-November 5

Black Souls (15) Three stars

Dir: Francesco Munzi

With: Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta

Runtime: 109 minutes

THIS Italian crime drama from Francesco Munzi was a hit among the cognoscenti at the Glasgow Film Festival in February. The setting is the Calabrian hills, which look down mournfully as a father (Fabrizio Ferracane) who worked hard to leave his life of crime behind is forced into a rethink due to a hotheaded son (Guiseppe Fumo). Like the man Corleone said, just when papa thought he was out, they’re pulling him back in. Black Souls is a frustratingly slow burn affair for the most part, but the tension fair crackles from the screen once it gets going.

Glasgow Film Theatre, tomorrow-November 5

The Vatican Tapes (15) Three stars

Dir: Mark Neveldine With: Olivia Dudley, Dougray Scott

Runtime: 89 minutes

HERE is a prime slice of the juiciest ham just in time for Halloween. Scotland’s Dougray Scott is a colonel in the US Army and the proud dad of blogger daughter Angela (Olivia Dudley), one of whose specialist interests is the occult. After cutting her finger slicing into a birthday cake, as one does, crazy things start happening to Ange and representatives from the Vatican take an interest. Bonkers, but Scott adds a touch of class.

Video on demand from tomorrow