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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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INTERVIEWS

Oscar Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
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Entries in interview (187)

Tuesday
Dec132016

Interview: Babak Anvari on British Oscar Submission 'Under the Shadow'

By Jose Solís.

At first glance, Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow seems to announce itself as a fine Iran-set social drama, as we meet Shideh (Narges Rashidi) a young mother who discovers her political past - she protested the war against Iraq - has deemed her ineligible to return to medical school. When her husband (Bobby Baderi) gets sent to a battle zone for work, she is left behind with her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) trying to make sense of her life, while their city is under the constant threat of Iraqi missiles. If that wasn’t enough, strange things begin to occur in their home as Dorsa is convinced there is a presence that wants to take her away.

Even though this is Anvari’s first feature film, he displays a mastery of horror techniques that would put others to shame...

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...

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Thursday
Dec082016

Interview: Lorenzo Vigas on his Prize Winning Drama "From Afar"

This year's Oscar race for foreign film has the usual number of World War II dramas, biopics, and historical epics but as far as we can tell it's only got one Latin American LGBT drama about a damaged old man's thorny relationship with a poor street hustler he picks up who keeps coming back thereafter for more cash and the more mysterious pull of companionship. That film, Desde Alla / From Afar, now available to screen on Netflix, began its breakthrough journey winning the Golden Lion at Venice in 2015 for first time narrative director Lorenzo Vigas. I talked to him about working with an Oscar winning screenwriter, that Venice honor, and his terrific young find, Luis Silva, who holds his own opposite one of the Latin America's finest actors, Alredo Castro. 

The interview is after the jump...

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Tuesday
Dec062016

Interview: Director Paula van der Oest on Dutch Oscar Submission 'Tonio'

By Jose Solís.

In Tonio director Paula van der Oest chronicles the grieving process of two parents (Pierre Bokma and Rifka Lodeizen) who have just lost their 21-year-old son (Chris Peters) in a tragic accident. As they cope with the pain and chaos, they must also come to terms with the fact that Tonio was much more than they thought, and we see them discover their son’s passions and dreams. Based on an autobiographical novel by A.F.Th. van der Heijden, the film is an unsentimental portrait of pain, told with inventive storytelling techniques and featuring superb acting by the leads. I spoke to director van der Oest about finding the film’s tone, working with the actors and doing the Oscar circuit once again (she was nominated for Zus & Zo and her film Accused made the finals two years ago)

Read the interview after the jump...

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Monday
Dec052016

Interview: Director Juho Kuosmanen on Finnish Oscar Entry 'The Happiest Day in The Life Of Olli Mäki'

By Jose Solís.


In 1962, a young Finnish boxer faced featherweight champion of the world Davey Moore in a match that would go down in sports history as one of the most bittersweet for the tiny European country. Director Juho Kuosmanen has captured the event from the perspective of the challenger (played by Jarkko Lahti in a breakthrough) who finds himself vanishing among the excitement and pressure of the fight. The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki is a bittersweet tale about our need to create larger than life personalities that help us fulfill our desires, but fail to fulfill those who are actually participating in the experience. We see the sensitive, but quiet, Olli light up when he’s with his girlfriend Raija (Oona Airola), even though his manager Eelis (Eero Milonoff) suggests she will only make him lose the fight. Despite that the film is about a boxer, it has more in common with melancholy romances like Jules and Jim and Roman Holiday, than with Raging Bull. The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it picked up the Prize Un Certain Regard, since then it went on to become the Finnish Oscar entry, so I spoke to director Kuosmanen about the parallels between the film and his life, shooting in black and white, and entering the craze of awards season.

Read the interview after the jump.

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Sunday
Dec042016

Interview: Kim Jee-woon on South Korean Oscar Submission 'The Age of Shadows'

By Jose Solís.


Kim Jee-woon is certainly no stranger to genre extravaganzas, but in The Age of Shadows (which Tim reviewed here) he takes it to the most sumptuous level yet. The spy thriller set during the Japanese occupation of South Korea centers on the dilemma a double agent (Song Kang-ho) faces when he realizes the resistance fighters he’s trying to capture, might actually be more patriotic than the people he’s working for. With stunningly choreographed action sequences, exquisite period detail and powerhouse performances, the film is the rare historical film that actually feels urgent and exciting. Since it’s South Korea’s Oscar submission I spoke to director Kim Jee-woon about what he discovered about the resistance, working with some of his best known collaborators, and what the Oscar nomination would mean to him.

Special thanks to interpreter: Areum Jeong

Read the interview after the jump.

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Tuesday
Nov292016

Interview: Maria Schrader on Directing Austrian Oscar Submission 'Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe'

By Jose Solis


Two years after The Grand Budapest Hotel put Stefan Zweig’s writing at the center of the Oscar race, the author himself now is the protagonist of Austria’s submission Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. Directed by Maria Schrader, the film focuses on Zweig’s exile in South America after fleeing Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s, played with gravitas by Josef Hader, Zweig becomes one of the most powerful male characters of the year, in a performance that works on an intellectual as well as visceral level. Audiences who only know Schrader from her acting work, in films like Aimee & Jaguar, will be caught off guard by her elegant sense of framing, her impeccable pacing and the way she engages the viewer by avoiding going into any biopic stereotypes. I spoke to her about making the film, working with Hader, and what an Oscar nomination could mean for the film.

JOSE: This was a very hard movie to watch after the American election.


MARIA SCHRADER: Should I take that as a compliment?

JOSE: Yes!

MARIA SCHRADER: (Laughs)

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