May 17, 2013 |
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.
December 20, 2013 |
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.
December 11, 2011 |
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.
December 30, 2011 |
"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)
February 26, 2012 |
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.
May 27, 2012 |
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.