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Entries in Asghar Farhadi (16)

Monday
May082017

The Furniture: The Salesman Crafts His Own Stage

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

Asghar Farhadi's Oscar winning The Salesman begins with a set. The opening credits appear over the quiet stage of a small Tehran theater, nearly ready to debut a new production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. We see the bed before the actors who will lie in it, neon lights illuminated for an empty house. It is a quite literal setting of the stage before the drama begins.

It’s not a play adaptation, but it often feels like one. There are few locations and the cast is small. And, as in many play adaptations, the production design does a lot of heavy lifting...

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Tuesday
Feb282017

New Facts & Trivia from the 89th Oscars

Before we begin, a quick note that we shouldn't have to share but we do because the rest of the universe has conspired against the proper way of doing things. When we refer to an Oscar ceremony year we are talking about the year of the films honored, not the random month of the following year in which the ceremony is held. What we just witnessed was the 2016 Oscars. We don't know who will even be nominated for the 2017 Oscars yet though we'll make some early bird predictions on April 1st as we do.

Anyway... FACTS. TRIVIA. FUN.

La La Land's loss was shocking but its performance at the Oscars was not completely without precedent. Two other films in Oscar's 89 years have won the rare combo of Best Actress and Best Director without winning Best Picture. That would be Cabaret (1972, also the single film to win the most Oscars without winning Best Picture) and 7th Heaven (1927) in the very first year of the Oscars. That silent film is an unusual case though as Janet Gaynor won Best Actress for three roles including Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Street Angel (Oscar quickly changed the rules so nominations could only be for one picture.) 

Arrival (8 nominations) is the first non-war film Best Picture nominee to win Sound Editing only...

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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...

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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...

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