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Entries in Asghar Farhadi (14)

Tuesday
Jan312017

Farhadi Isn't Coming to the Oscars. Go See "The Salesman" in Solidarity

As we've previously noted briefly, the leading actress of The Salesman was not coming to the Oscars in protest of  T****'s unconstitutional and immoral ban on Muslims entering the US. Now the great Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) will not be attending the Oscars either. The ban has created chaos around the world and the awards show plans of filmmakers is, of course, low on the totem pole of injustices. But still, this sucks. When I spoke with Farhadi about The Salesman in December, he spoke fondly of the Oscar experience and how international it felt, sharing the experience with the other nominees.

Farhadi released a beautifully articulate damning statement which reads in part:

Hardliners, despite their nationalities, political arguments and wars, regard and understand the world in very much the same way. In order to understand the world, they have no choice but to regard it via an “us and them” mentality, which they use to create a fearful image of “them” and inflict fear in the people of their own countries.

This is not just limited to the United States; in my country hardliners are the same. For years on both sides of the ocean, groups of hardliners have tried to present to their people unrealistic and fearful images of various nations and cultures in order to turn their differences into disagreements, their disagreements into enmities and their enmities into fears. Instilling fear in the people is an important tool used to justify extremist and fanatic behavior by narrow-minded individuals.

Speaking truth to power. Every word of that is exactly right. 

Sunday
Jan292017

Box Office Boom for Best Pictures...

Hidden Figures and La La Land both crossed the $100 million mark this weekend.

This weekend saw three Best Picture nominees re-expanding (Moonlight, Fences, Arrival) to capitalize on their Oscar nominations each adding a million plus to their already successful grosses. Arrival is so close to $100 million now ($97.3) but it will be still be a stretch to hit that milestone with its Blu-Ray release just two weeks away. In fact every Best Picture nominee that's still in theaters experienced a boost at the box office this weekend except Hidden Figures (which was already roaring) but that drama's neglible 11% drop continues to suggest a very long run to come.

The shadow side of this equation? That's what's happening to the prestige pictures that weren't nominated...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan272017

Link by Day

Coming Soon Beauty and the Beast has an original song called "Evermore," sung in the film by Dan Stevens and in the end credits by Josh Groban. Uff, I've never liked Disney's "do overs" in the end credits. They're always worse than the in-film version
Variety Beauty and the Beast also got character posters
MNPP a pic of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal we'd never seen before!
The Playlist on 30 breakouts of the Sundance Film Festival 
David Poland La La Land backlash and why you should give the movie its due

 

Boy Culture celebrities pay tribute to Mary Tyler Moore
MTV Teo Bugbee on Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People (1980) 
The Daily Beast Lois Smith has a breakout role at 86 in Marjorie Prime
Film Mixtape Chris Feil's top fifteen of the year
Art of the Title looks back at Madonna's Who's That Girl (1987) opening credits. Loved those
/Film Sing already set for a sequel for Christmas 2020
Unicorn Booty 100 intriguing LGBT artists, characters, and people to watch
Awards Watch shares the GALECA winners with prizes to Moonlight, The Dressmaker, Christine, The Handmaiden, and more 
Gurus of Gold rank the Oscar nominees in order of likelihood to win... 
Film School Rejects The Flash movie is going back to the drawing board. No script. No director.
MNPP on 'the tell' in tense films and Asghar Farhadi's crazy skill with them in The Salesman 
Variety Ben Affleck's Live by Night is a big financial loss for Warner Bros  

Friday
Dec162016

The Nine Foreign Film Finalists for Oscar

The Academy's complicated process in nominating for Best Foreign Language Film is nearing completion. Last night they winnowed down the 85 film list to a more manageable 9 films. Those 9 will screen for selected panels in multiple cities and 5 nominees will be determined. A few observations and trivia notes about the list after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec092016

Interview: Oscar-Winner Asghar Farhadi Returns with "The Salesman"

by Nathaniel R

Two award winners: Asghar Farhadi with his star Shahab Hosseni

Asghar Farhadi's fame is finally catching up to his talent. After his international breakthrough with A Separation (2011) which won the Oscar and the Globe Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and became a significant arthouse hit internationally, the Iranian auteur has had three other movies travel to cinemas abroad. The acclaimed About Elly (2009) found renewed life and finally a US release, and his two follow up pictures The Past (2013) and The Salesman (2016) both took home coveted acting prizes from Cannes.

The Salesman, which will begin its US release in January after an Oscar-qualifying week recently in Los Angeles, is Farhadi's fourth consecutive film to be chosen by Iran to represent the country at the Academy Awards. Like A Separation, it's a stunner which begins simply before a fraught incident sends out large ripples complicating the story and the characterizations. We talked to Farhadi about the pressure of representing Iran, his Oscar night journey, and his creative process. The interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct222016

Middleburg Day 2: The Salesman, Manchester by the Sea, Women in Hollywood

by Nathaniel R

On the first full day at the Middleburg Film Festival after that cathartic teary opening with Lion, I attempted to schedule a horseback ride for the full Middleburg experience. The town is known for its rich horses & hunting history and you can see horses and foxes in sculpture form and in signs and logos in the charming little town. Rain got in the way of a ride but all was not lost since a beautiful black and white cat named Callisto greeted me inside the stable at practically a full gallop and began rubbing up all over me. Dear reader, I can assure you that her love was requited! She was 21 years old but super friendly, spry and playful so the country life has obviously been kind to her. One can assume the horses also love her as she hasn't been stepped on. 

So back to the movies I went, a perfect activity for rainy days even when you aren't at a film festival.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May262016

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Join The Asghar Farhadi Avengers

After scooping up Best Screenplay and Best Actor honors for The Salesman at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi has swiftly landed two more international prizes for his next film: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The Oscar-winning couple reuniting onsceen is only the half of it; as previously announced last year, they join producers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar for Farhadi’s first Spanish-language project. If you place the emphasis on the first word in “cinematic universe,” this is the sort of continent-crossing collaboration of which one dreams. As the superheroes behind A Separation, Volver, No Country for Old MenAll About My Mother, and Wild Tales coalesce and move towards production, we can’t wait to see what kind of direction they take the project.

While Cruz, Bardem, and the brothers Almodóvar have all collaborated with one another in some form before – recently, Broken EmbracesVicky Cristina Barcelona; not so recently, Live Flesh – it should be fascinating to see how these very outwardly expressive films gel against Farhadi’s track record of inwardly simmering yet subtly explosive dramas. It’s no surprise that Cruz and Bardem already contend with some of cinema’s sexiest movie star marriages – contemporarily, I’d give them the gold – and it will be fascinating to see how or if Farhadi bends that image against them. His films tend to combust entrenched socio-cultural strictures rather than manipulate flashy celeb fodder but, then again, Kubrick was never much of an Us Weekly guy and he still warped Cruise and Kidman with fascinatingly transgressive results.

What are some of your favorite movies with IRL married couples thrust into diegesis? Or, on a more directorly note, what do you think of Almodóvar and Farhadi teaming up behind the scenes?