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Entries in Asghar Farhadi (8)

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?

Monday
Jun292015

Breaking News: Almodovar Will Produce Asghar Farhadi's Next Film

Amir here, to share really exciting news involving two of The Film Experience’s favourite auteurs.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's next international project has been announced by an Iranian agency and it will be produced by none other than Pedro Almodovar! The as yet untitled film will start shooting in Spain in October 2016 according to Khabar Online

Farhadi’s script for this France-Spain co-production has already been completed. Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento Film (which distributed Farhadi’s previous feature The Past) will co-produce the film along with Almodovar. The screenplay is written in English and Spanish and the cast will be comprised of American and Spanish actors. 

Reports suggest that Farhadi, who rose to international fame with About Elly and the Oscar-winning A Separation, intends to film another one of his finished scripts in Iran before travelling to Spain to commence pre-production. The film will be his second feature filmed outside of Iran, following the success of the Paris-set The Past. Almodovar, meanwhile, has his own film to deal with before moving on to Farhadi’s project. He is currently filming Silencio.

Thursday
Dec192013

Interview: Asghar Farhadi on Globe Nominee "The Past"

Amir and Asghar Farhadi @ TIFFAmir here, to share with you my fantastic experience of interviewing the director of The Past, A Separation and About Elly. About a decade ago, when Asghar Farhadi made his first feature film after years of successful theatre and TV work, even the most optimistic fan of Iranian cinema could not imagine his stratospheric rise to International Auteur status in such a short span of time. It is heart-warming for an industry that has only gained international prominence in the past two decades to see one of its sons holding an Oscar statue. Farhadi’s popularity comes at a critical point for Iranian cinema, when festival presence is not as regular as it was in the nineties and several major filmmakers have had their careers stalled for political reasons.*

Farhadi's follow up to the Academy Award-winning classic A Separation, The Past will be representing Iran in the Best Foreign Film Oscar competition and was just nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. Farhadi's latest is a Paris-set melodrama starring two recognizable stars in The Artist's Berenice Bejo (Cannes Winner Best Actress) and Tahar Rahim as well as Iranian superstar Ali Mosaffa.** In the film, Bejo plays Marie, a French woman married to Ahmad (Mosaffa) who is in custody of their children after a breakup. When Ahmad receives a letter from his wife to return to Paris to finalize the divorce, he is confronted with Samir (Rahim), Marie’s new boyfriend, himself married with a son to a woman in a coma. And that’s just the beginning of the complications in this romantic triangle.

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Tuesday
Apr022013

Team Top Ten: Best Directors of the 21st Century

Steve McQueen didn't make the list but Fassy still loves him (as do many of our contributors)Amir here, to bring you the first edition of Team Top Ten, a communal list by all of Film Experience’s contributors that will sit in for our regular Tuesday Top Ten list once a month. For our first episode, we’ve decided to rank the best new directors of the 21st century. These are all directors who have made their first film after 2000. (Short films, TV and theatre work didn’t render anyone ineligible. Only feature length fiction and documentary films were considered.)  

I had a blast compiling the 18 lists of our contributors to arrive at the final ten because their submissions were incredibly eclectic and surprising. I’d made a bet with myself that Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) would top the list, and lo and behold, he failed to make the cut altogether, though by a very fine margin. Korean director Bong Joon Ho was also left off, despite showing up on more than a handful of lists. Jason Reitman, Joshua Marston, Rian Johnson and David Gordon Green all came very close too but this was a tightly contested race, evidenced by the three-way tie for our tenth spot. Overall, 71 directors got at least one vote. We travelled all the way from Japan to Portugal, from Greece to Mexico, via documentaries, comedies and superhero films. We loved stories about Muslim families, gay romances, World War II and the beautifully painted worlds of Sylvain Chomet. What we didn't like very much turned out to be actors-turned-directors, as current Oscar champ Ben Affleck got only a single vote, and George Clooney and Tommy Lee Jones failed to manage even that.

In the end, these are the twelve men and women Team Experience considers the best (thus far) of the 21st century crop:

=10. Michel Gondry
Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine, The Sciene of Sleep, Block Party, Be Kind Rewind, etcetera

Gondry's films are shaggy fantasies powered by a boundless imagination. They're more than a little goofy, speaking quirky as if it were a language, and they have an endearing handmade quality, with their maker's fingerprints visible around the rough edges. Bent as they are toward romance and optimism, Gondry's miniature worlds provide a little solace from reality.
- Andreas Stoehr

11 more directors after the jump

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Saturday
Mar162013

Can Oscar Sustain His Unlikeliest New Love Affair?

*Not all films discussed here exist outside my head.

Amir here, to obsess about the Oscars because, you know, March is never too early to start doing that around these parts.  Recently, I’ve started to wonder whether Oscar might have started an unlikely love affair with Iran.

Stop laughing and allow me to explain. Oscar took a long while to take notice of Iranian cinema or any of the Iranians who were working in Hollywood. To be fair to the shiny gold man, he wasn’t really spoiled with choices, but still took his time before deciding that Darius Khondji was a worthy cinematographer (Evita, 1996) and Habib Zargarpour’s did fine fx work (Twister, also 1996). Oscar has taken short trips to Iran a few times since then and last year, after watching A Separation, finally decided to stay awhile... in Asghar Farhadi’s house.

No one expected Oscar to go back so soon, especially with no major Iranian films present on the festival circuit, but AMPAS had other ideas. Oscar went back and took one of Hollywood’s golden boys along with him. Famously, they had such a hard time getting out of Iran they had to fake Canadian passports. Britain aside, Oscar doesn’t really embrace any foreign countries two years back to back, let alone a Middle Eastern one. What is happening?

Could this once politically forbidden passion turn into a stable relationship? I turned to the festival circuit, but to no avail. So I've decided to take the intiative and suggest a few projects that might turn the trick again with Oscar. more...

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Friday
Jan042013

Amir's Most Anticipated Films of 2013

Ewan McGregor and I (from TIFF). What movies do you think he's looking forward to?Amir here. For most of us moviegoers the first day of January doesn’t coincide with the start of a new film year. We wait for the release of films like Zero Dark Thirty or Amour in our corners of the world. But to wish you all a slightly belated happy new year, I thought there’s no better way to semi-start 2013 than with a top ten dozen list of possible cinematic treasures that await us.

It was a tough task to narrow down but that’s the fun in list-making. I know I’ll be first in line when Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac hits the screens, or when Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s long-awaited follow-up to the masterful Birth, is unveiled. And how could I not be excited about Side Effects from the always intriguing Steven Soderbergh, or Les Salaudes, the newest film from Claire Denis, one of our greatest living directors? James Gray’s Nightingale almost made my list, as did Park Chan Wook’s Stoker and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. Joachim Trier, whose last film Oslo, August 31st was my favorite of 2011 (2012 for many US critics) is working on an English-language debut called Louder than Bombs,  too. I’ll be there for all of them, but if I had to pick only a dozen films to watch this year? Here they are....


12. I’m So Excited

An apt title for a film on a list of this kind, but that’s definitely not the only reason I’ve included it here. Pedro Almodovar, everyone’s favorite Spanish auteur, is going back to the realm of comedy with this story of intersecting romances and dancing gay flight attendants on an airplane.

I’m So Excited stars a whole lot of Spanish stars like Javier Camara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Duenas, Paz Vega and my biggest crush of the moment, Blanca Suárez. Almodovar’s regulars Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are apparently in for small roles. 

more after the jump...

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