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Asghar Farhadi

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December 19, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As he demonstrated in his Oscar-winning "A Separation," Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi has a passion for drama and a gift for the realistic depiction of intense emotional situations, a talent he takes full advantage of in his new film, "The Past. " Because it is set in France, not Iran, "The Past" does not have the religious/political overlay that made "A Separation" so remarkable that it won the best foreign language Oscar and more than 70 international awards. But it's quite potent on its own terms.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
The hustle and bustle of the annual awards circuit can have unintended results, such as creating unlikely introductions. "The Past," which opens Friday in Los Angeles, brings together Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and French Argentine actress Bérénice Bejo. The two first met in passing in Los Angeles when each was on the Oscar circuit a couple of years ago. Farhadi was promoting "A Separation," which would win the Oscar for foreign language film and be nominated for screenplay, while Bejo was supporting eventual best picture winner "The Artist," for which she also earned a supporting actress nomination.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" not only won the foreign-language Oscar, it was also the rare foreign-language film to break through to a nomination in a more mainstream category, earning a nod for original screenplay. After also picking up multiple other festival and critics' prizes, the film went on to earn more than $7 million at the U.S. box office. With "The Past," Farhadi has shown that the success of "A Separation" was no fluke, as he has crafted another rich, insightful look at the emotional and psychological bonds of family.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As he demonstrated in his Oscar-winning "A Separation," Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi has a passion for drama and a gift for the realistic depiction of intense emotional situations, a talent he takes full advantage of in his new film, "The Past. " Because it is set in France, not Iran, "The Past" does not have the religious/political overlay that made "A Separation" so remarkable that it won the best foreign language Oscar and more than 70 international awards. But it's quite potent on its own terms.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
CANNES, France - "Stories come to me," says Asghar Farhadi, his sharp eyes focused, intense. "This one came to me, and I decided to follow it. " It sounds straightforward, simple even, but nothing about the filmmaker's latest work, "The Past," fits that description. Iranian writer-director Farhadi's name may not be familiar, but his previous film, 2011's "A Separation," certainly is. The picture won more than 70 international awards, including the Oscar for foreign language film; the extent of its global box office success surprised both its creator and its country of origin.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
The hustle and bustle of the annual awards circuit can have unintended results, such as creating unlikely introductions. "The Past," which opens Friday in Los Angeles, brings together Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and French Argentine actress Bérénice Bejo. The two first met in passing in Los Angeles when each was on the Oscar circuit a couple of years ago. Farhadi was promoting "A Separation," which would win the Oscar for foreign language film and be nominated for screenplay, while Bejo was supporting eventual best picture winner "The Artist," for which she also earned a supporting actress nomination.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2011 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
When Iranian cinema has been in the news of late, it is largely for the legal troubles of leading filmmakers, faced with jail terms, house arrests and bans from travel, interviews and even making future films. Yet since his film's premiere early this year, Asghar Farhadi has found success inside and outside his home country with "A Separation," the film resonating with audiences who read it alternately as a deeply felt domestic drama and a finely crafted sociopolitical allegory. When the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, it walked away with the Golden Bear, the festival's top prize, as well as awards recognizing the film's lead actor and actress.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 2011 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"A Separation" is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised. The early front-runner for the foreign-language Oscar and a rare triple prize winner at the Berlin International Film Festival (it took home the Golden Bear for best film, plus the actor and actress prizes were split among the male and female cast)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2012 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
For all the pride the Iranian film "A Separation" has conjured among Los Angeles Persians, not every aspect of the emotionally gripping Oscar hopeful has gone over so smoothly with the city's expats. In fact, it takes just moments for the filmmaker to alienate some of his most ardent fans here. In the opening scene, a husband and wife stare straight into the camera, presumably into the eyes of a judge, as the woman explains why she's asking for a divorce: Her husband, she pleads, refuses to flee Iran with her because he feels obligated to stay and care for his ailing father.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
CANNES, France — Cinematically speaking, few countries have experienced as wild a roller coaster ride as Iran in the past 14 months. Over this period, one or more of its filmmakers have a) won the country's first foreign-language Oscar, b) faced an extraordinary ban on filmmaking, c) seen their creative ferment recognized throughout Europe, d) packed up and moved their productions far from the Middle East. "I guess you could say Iranian cinema is in both the best and the worst of times," said Massoud Bakhshi, director of "A Respectable Family," a semi-autobiographical tale about a man haunted by the Iran-Iraq war that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last week.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" not only won the foreign-language Oscar, it was also the rare foreign-language film to break through to a nomination in a more mainstream category, earning a nod for original screenplay. After also picking up multiple other festival and critics' prizes, the film went on to earn more than $7 million at the U.S. box office. With "The Past," Farhadi has shown that the success of "A Separation" was no fluke, as he has crafted another rich, insightful look at the emotional and psychological bonds of family.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
CANNES, France - The hometown favorite won big time at the Festival de Cannes on Sunday night as France's "Blue Is the Warmest Color" walked off with the Palme d'Or. In a highly unusual step, jury president Steven Spielberg announced that the prize was given not only to director Abdellatif Kechiche ("The Secret of the Grain"), as is traditional, but to co-stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux as well. Both actresses were in tears by the time they reached the stage. The sexually explicit story of a young woman discovering desire and herself, "Blue" was the great favorite of French critics but divided English speakers, who called it everything from voyeuristic to the gold standard for lesbian romances to a three-hour Sundance movie in French.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
CANNES, France - "Stories come to me," says Asghar Farhadi, his sharp eyes focused, intense. "This one came to me, and I decided to follow it. " It sounds straightforward, simple even, but nothing about the filmmaker's latest work, "The Past," fits that description. Iranian writer-director Farhadi's name may not be familiar, but his previous film, 2011's "A Separation," certainly is. The picture won more than 70 international awards, including the Oscar for foreign language film; the extent of its global box office success surprised both its creator and its country of origin.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
- Invariably, the Cannes Film Festival chooses a striking image for its official annual poster. But the 2013 version can be seen as a particularly apt metaphor for the dual nature of the world's most essential cinema event. Paris-based graphic designers have adroitly repurposed a black-and-white photo from 1963's "A New Kind of Love" featuring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in an embrace. As sinuously as they are entwined, that's how fluidly the American and international components of the film world come together at Cannes, which opens Wednesday night with the big Warner Bros.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Abbas Kiarostami is one of the pillars of Iranian cinema, but because of the turbulent climate at home and his own artistic inquisitiveness, he has recently traveled outside Iran to make his films, in a manner he parallels to the recent vagabond works of Woody Allen. Kiarostami's 2010 film, "Certified Copy," was an enigmatic romance starring Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell set against the timeless beauty of Tuscany. His newest, "Like Someone in Love," which opens Feb. 15 in Los Angeles, finds him further exploring the slippage of identity, this time in a story set in Tokyo.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2012 | By Mark Olsen and Nicole Sperling
Iran is boycotting the Oscars. Although writer-director Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed family drama "A Separation" was named best foreign-language film at February's Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian officials have opted out of the upcoming Oscar contest. The move comes as a protest against the recent anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," which has sparked violence throughout the Middle East. PHOTOS: 10 controversial films based on religion In a statement reported by the Iranian Students' News Agency, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said the Academy Awards boycott is "to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet [Muhammad]
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2012 | By Mark Olsen and Nicole Sperling
Iran is boycotting the Oscars. Although writer-director Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed family drama "A Separation" was named best foreign-language film at February's Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian officials have opted out of the upcoming Oscar contest. The move comes as a protest against the recent anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," which has sparked violence throughout the Middle East. PHOTOS: 10 controversial films based on religion In a statement reported by the Iranian Students' News Agency, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said the Academy Awards boycott is "to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet [Muhammad]
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Abbas Kiarostami is one of the pillars of Iranian cinema, but because of the turbulent climate at home and his own artistic inquisitiveness, he has recently traveled outside Iran to make his films, in a manner he parallels to the recent vagabond works of Woody Allen. Kiarostami's 2010 film, "Certified Copy," was an enigmatic romance starring Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell set against the timeless beauty of Tuscany. His newest, "Like Someone in Love," which opens Feb. 15 in Los Angeles, finds him further exploring the slippage of identity, this time in a story set in Tokyo.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 2012 | By Noel Murray
Bernie Millennium, $28.99;Blu-ray, $29.99 Available on VOD beginning Tuesday Based on a true story, the wry docudrama "Bernie" stars Jack Black as a charismatic, dandyish small-town mortician who murders a cantankerous local millionaire played by Shirley MacLaine, and then tries to hide the crime from the authorities, including Matthew McConaughey's dogged district attorney. Writer-director Richard Linklater and his co-writer Skip Hollandsworth (who also wrote the magazine article on which the movie is based)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
CANNES, France — Cinematically speaking, few countries have experienced as wild a roller coaster ride as Iran in the past 14 months. Over this period, one or more of its filmmakers have a) won the country's first foreign-language Oscar, b) faced an extraordinary ban on filmmaking, c) seen their creative ferment recognized throughout Europe, d) packed up and moved their productions far from the Middle East. "I guess you could say Iranian cinema is in both the best and the worst of times," said Massoud Bakhshi, director of "A Respectable Family," a semi-autobiographical tale about a man haunted by the Iran-Iraq war that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last week.
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