With Under the Shadow and Wounds, British-Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari heralded himself as a vigorously fresh voice in the supernatural horror genre. But there is more than one string to Anvari’s fearsome arc, as evidenced by I Came By, a “Hitchcockian neo-noir crime thriller” that also demonstrates that the British film industry doesn’t make them like they used to.
“I find it interesting that we’ve lost touch with the whole Hitchcockian genre in Britain,” Anvari tells Total Film in the new issue, with Thor: Love and Thunder on the cover. “So it’s really exciting for me to take inspiration from the master and try to do something along those lines, in modern times.”
Set in contemporary inner city London, the film stars George MacKay as Toby and Percelle Ascott as Jay, graffiti artists and avengers of income inequality who break into the homes of the city’s wealthy elite just to label their walls with a three-word badge: ‘I Came By’, before sneaking off into the night.
“It’s to tell the elites: ‘We’re watching you. Don’t think you can get away with it,'” says Anvari, who sees graffiti as a “creative and subversive” way to challenge the system. “They’re doing it, in their head, for a cause.”
That cause makes them rare even among the community of graffiti writers, who refer to code-breaking artists as ‘toys’. Anvari first got the idea for I Came By when he was in his early twenties, when he was no stranger to rudderless youngsters like the brash Toby. He sees MacKay as the character in an exclusive new look at the movie above.
I Came By is in theaters starting August 19 and on Netflix starting August 31. For more on Anvari, check out the new issue of Total Film. (opens in a new tab)now available on physical and digital shelves (opens in a new tab).
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