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Entries in The Salesman (9)

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 ...

Saturday
Feb252017

Joint Statement from Best Foreign Language Film Directors

The nominated directors from this year's Best Foreign Language Film nominees (Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann, and Tanna) have released a joint statement about the Oscars, human rights, and the growing climate of nationalism around the world. It's a must read.

They write...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb072017

Q&A: Overhyped Loveables, Depression Coping Tactics, and Best Foreign Film 

Happy Hump Day Almost! Why do some weeks feel so much like surviving itself is the only goal / triumph? I have let the Q&A column go but we're getting back on the horse and will try to do them more regularly. Here are seven questions from last week and two from a long time ago.

Ready? Let's go! Questions about awards seasons calendar, Brie Larson, director/cinematographer teams, and coping with depression after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan272017

The Oscar Week: post-nominations, the campaigns rev back up.

In this weekly feature from Murtada we follow Oscar contender appearances and interviews. After taking a week off, contenders are back to the grind for Phase 2.

Supporting Actress
The warmest presence on the Oscar campaign trail is undoubtedly Octavia Spencer. She’s as delightful in interviews and appearance as her Hidden Figures character is on screen, except of course when she’s dealing with Kirsten Dunst’s racist boss. No wonder she’s so popular. On Twitter she acknowledged her nomination by mentioning not only her director and producers, but also her friends from The Help (and fellow nominees this season) Viola Davis and Emma Stone. Then she went further in by congratulating Barry Jenkins, Ava DuVernay, Dev Patel and Denzel washington. How lovely is she?

This week she was honored as Woman of the Year by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals group. She looked delighted throughout the parade through the streets of Cambridge, to the roast and the presentation of the traditional prize, the pudding pot. That pot, she quipped, was harder to get than an Oscar...

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...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov062016

Podcast: The Handmaiden and Other Heavenly Creatures

We're back to weekly podcasts! This week Nick and Nathaniel revisit a summer favorite that's now on DVD and have divergent feelings about The Handmaiden despite their mutual Park Chan-wook history.

Index (41 minutes)
00:01 A Heavenly Creatures revisit
05:10 The Handmaiden and that time Nathaniel and Nick watched a Park Chan-wook together
25:00 Almodóvar's Julieta and Farhadi's The Salesman
34:00 Doctor Strangé & Captain Fantastic briefly to wrap-up

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Referenced in this conversation:
Nick's Isabelle Huppert e-mail hack | Nathaniel's photo op with Viggo Mortensen | A recent rewatch of WitnessAlama Drafthouse Night Out | 1994 Oscar Races 

The Handmaiden Fantastic