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Entries in Middle Eastern Films (42)

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...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb282017

Links: Oscar Goodies Elsewhere

Tom & Lorenzo Janelle Monáe owns everything and wore it all out last night
Vulture theories on why Moonlight won
AV Club "Why does Nicole Kidman clap like that and will she stop it please?" LOL

Deadline Iran and France praise Asghar Farhadi's Oscar win 
The Hill the State department does too but then quickly deletes the tweet 
Out Michael Musto on queer moments from the broadcast and Brokeback payback
Vanity Fair fashion transformations from the Oscars to the after parties 

Oscar Snafus
HuffPo This is interesting. Turns out HuffPo posted an article BEFORE the Oscars about what would happen if the wrong winner was read out on Oscar night and the procedure that would follow. Not everything lines up with what happened Sunday
Slate reviews the tape to illustrated what happened when during the Best Picture mix-up which is what I said I wanted done but knew I didn't have the strength to do (in this piece on the Oscar's own dream ballet)
Variety the other snafu at the Oscars during "In Memorium". Whod'a thunk that The Piano (1993) woud resurface in a huge gaffe kind of way with Oscar mixing up its producer Jan Chapman and its Costume Designer Janet Patterson? 

Exit Trivia
Thanks to THR's Scott Feinberg for uncovering this. The La La Land / Moonlight envelope fiasco was the second time in history that this happened. The first was for the 1963 Oscars when eventual Best Picture winner Tom Jones was named as the Best Original Score winner. But the winner was actually Andre Previn for Irma La Douce. Sammy Davis Jr handled it well, you must admit.

In related news that proposed upcoming Sammy Davis Jr biopic could be so great. The career, cast of characters, and context in which it happened is so rich for storytelling. Let's hope they cast, write, and direct it well.

Saturday
Feb042017

I'm so glad we had this link together

Decider Joe Reid on the repetitive lie that Oscar shuns popular movies
Interview shared a Winona Ryder interview from 1990. I can't tell you how formative this was for me. I had the photoshoot plastered all over my bedroom. I was obsessed with her quotables.
Playbill Broadway aimed Moulin Rouge! will be trying to cast its Satine (!!!), or at least a temporary Satine for readings and such, on February 17th at an Equity-only audition
MNPP Great Moments in Movie Shelves visits The Royal Tenenbaums game closet 
AV Club IMDb is shutting down its message boards 

 

Deadline file this under "it's about time" - Sarah Paulson is finally getting lead roles in features! She'll headline Lost Girls, a serial killer drama in which she plays a mother searching for her daughter
i09 revisits Suspiria before the remake by Luca Guadagnino
The Guardian we need to be listening to Middle Eastern cinema right now 
Variety Leslie Mann and John Cho to host this year's Sci-Tech awards for the Academy 
Tracking Board Whoa. Carol Burnett, who is 83, might be coming back with a new sitcom. Come on Octogenarians! (See also: Rita Moreno, who is 85 and great on One Day at a Time)
Variety Oh, this is so sad. Sunday in the Park with George won't be eligible for the Tonys so no Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor despite the raves 
Boy Culture Patrick Wilson didnt get paid for this advertisement
Variety The Weinstein Co will distribute a new Diane Keaton / Brendan Gleeson drama Hampstead from the director of Last Chance Harvey
The Guardian "why I love Emma Stone" 

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 ...

Monday
Oct242016

APSA Nominations: Lion, Cold of Kalandar, and More

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards has announced its nominations for the film year. The organization is in its 10th year -- and we should note that our own Glenn Dunks works for them behind the scenes. They basically cover the whole continent so that includes Asian countries, Australia, Russia, you name it. Their definition is loose enough that it even covers films with creative teams that qualify even if the film is a co-production made elsewhere. Their nomination procedure is elaborate -- 303 films from 43 countries were in the mix this year -- and whittled down throughout the year. The results are certainly a unique barometer of the region.

Cold of Kalandar, Turkey's Oscar submission, has 3 nominations

The nominations with commentary are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct182016

Reviews: "Desierto" and "Under the Shadow"

by Nathaniel R

Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Gael García Bernal in "Desierto"

Two more Oscar submissions are now in limited release in the US: Mexico's Desierto and the UK's Tehran set film Under the Shadows. Both are what you might call horror films though one suspects only the latter would accept the label. 

Desierto
We'll go anywhere with Gael García Bernal, who has blessed us with a number of fine road trip / travel movies in his career like Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Motorcycle Diaries , and The Loneliest Planet. In short, he's the perfect choice as a protagonist if you want us to sign up for a gruelling journey...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

Foreign Film Race Pt 2: All the Trailers (Japan to Vietnam)

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Foreign Language Film Category... *But Were Afraid to Ask

Pt 1 All the Trailers (Albania to Italy)

Pt 2 All the Trailers (Japan through Vietnam)
Here are all the trailers in one place! (Well two places. Part one has the first half. While you watch these we're sprucing up the Official Submission Charts right now to make them cleaner with the full list now that the Academy has made the list official.  Which of the 85 films (a record!) are you eager to see? Which do you think Oscar might also warm to? 

See more trailers than you can watch in one sitting after after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep302016

Foreign Watch: Two Oscar Favorites Join the Fray

We've been faithfully updating the Oscar charts daily to reflect the submissions in one of our favorite categories. We'd call it our favorite but then how would Cinematography, Production Design, both Actress categories, and Costume Design feel? The deadline for submission is just a few days away so in a week or two the Academy will make the list official. Generally speaking, there are one or two surprises from our charts once they do -- a sudden addition or replacement and maybe a single disqualification. But if this list holds we are just short of the all time record number. The are currently 82 submissions, which is one shy of the record from 2014 (the Ida year).

90 year old legend Andrezj Wajda with his film trophies

Among the newly announced films are After Image, a biopic of an avant garde artist, by Andrzej Wajda for Poland and The Idol, the true story of a man who competed on "Arab Idol," from Hany Abu-Assad of Palestine. Oscar loves these two directors so they're surely threats for the finalist list. Poland has submitted films by Honorary Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda a total of nine times in their history and four of those were nominated: The Promised Land in 1975, The Maids of Wilco in 1979, Man of Iron in 1981, and Katyn in 2007. Meanwhile both of Palestine's nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category come from Hany Abu-Assad: Paradise Now in 2005 and Omar in 2013.  Can these men work their Oscar-hooking magic again?

Updates to the charts (part 1, part 2, part 3) also include new contenders from Argentina, Bangladesh, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Turkey.