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Larry Clark's "Marfa Girl" won the top prize at the Rome Film Festival, which came to an end this weekend. Read Indiewire's review of the film here. Full press release below. The Prizes Awarded To The Films In Competition The International Jury, chaired by Jeff Nichols and composed of Timur Bekmambetov, Valentina Cervi, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Chris Fujiwara, Leila Hatami and P.J.Hogan, has conferred the following awards: - Golden Marc’Aurelio for Best Film: Marfa Girl by Larry Clark - Best Director Award: Paolo Franchi for E la chiamano estate - Special Jury Prize: Alì ha gli occhi azzurri by Claudio Giovannesi - Best Actor Award: Jérémie Elkaïm by Main dans la main - Best Actress Award: Isabella Ferrarifor E la chiamano estate - Best Emerging Actor or Actress Award: Marilyne Fontaine for Un enfant de toi - Best Technical Contribution: Arnau Valls Colomer, for the cinematography of Mai. »
Stepping It Up: Mossafa Returns With a Murky Puzzle
Director Ali Mosaffa returns with his sophomore feature, The Last Step (his last directorial effort was 2005’s Portrait of a Lady Far Away), a labyrinthine puzzler that continually and perpetually tricks us, mostly to great effect. Some may feel disappointed by its rather oblique finale, but one can’t help but appreciate the astoundingly intriguing way he’s constructed his tale. Known primarily as an actor, Mosaffa is also married to the leading lady of his film, Leila Hatami, who Western audiences should instantly recognize from her starring turn in last year’s A Separation.
The film opens with an actress, Leili (Leila Hatami), in the middle of filming a scene for her latest film. We quickly learn she has only recently lost her husband, Koshrow (Ali Mosaffa) under strange circumstances, and the film she’s making is eerily about a »
- Nicholas Bell
Marco Müller, the artistic director of the Rome Film Festival, has announced the names of the members of the International Competition Jury. Jeff Nichols, the American director and screenwriter of Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud will be its chairman. The rest of the jury consists of Russian-Kazakh director and producer Timur Bekmambetov, Italian actress Valentina Cervi, American film critic and festival director Chris Fujiwara, Iranian actress Leila Hatami, Australian director P.J.Hogan, and Argentine writer and director Edgardo Cozarinsky. Read More »
The Rome Film Festival (November 9-17) announces its jury members for the 2012 edition of the festival, including writer-director Jeff Nichols ("Take Shelter," "Mud"), director Timur Bekmambetov ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer") and Iranian actress Leila Hatami (2012's Foreign-Language Oscar winner "A Separation"). Also on the jury are Italian actress Valentina Cervi, American film critic and fest director Chris Fujiwara, Australian director P.J. Hogan and Argentine writer-director Edgardo Cozarinsky. The group of seven will hand out Golden Marc'Aurelio Awards for Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress, Jury Prize, Screenplay, Technical Contribution and Emerging Actor or Actress. Additionally, the festival has added two out-of-competition films to its lineup -- Francesco Castellani's refugee football drama "Black Star," and Manuel Pradal's Peter Pan-update "Tom le Cancre." Check out the rest of »
- Beth Hanna
She was Iran's biggest film star. But when she bared her breast in a French video, she was banished from the country and became a lightning rod for the divisions in Iranian society
In January of this year the parents of the exiled Iranian actor Golshifteh Farahani took a call at their apartment in Tehran from a man who said he was an official of the supreme court of the Islamic Republic. He began shouting at her father, telling him that his daughter would be punished, that her breasts would be cut off and presented to him on a plate.
A few days earlier, Farahani had appeared in a short black-and-white video with 30 other "young hopes" of the French cinema to promote the Césars, the "French Oscars", where she had been nominated for her role in the winsome immigrant comedy Si Tu Meurs, Je Te Tue (If You Die, I'll »
- Fiachra Gibbons
Writer and director Asghar Farhadi had a couple award winning films to his name prior to 2011, but nothing of the notoriety that came with the release of his critically lauded examination of marital disintegration, A Separation. With his newest, he managed to rake in top prizes worldwide, from the Berlin Golden Bear to the Best Foreign Picture prize at this year’s Oscars. What makes the film so widely regarded is within this seemingly simple Iranian drama something like a facile murder mystery begins to unfold, and a surprisingly expansive moral complexity is slowly unveiled. Like a cinematic illusion, the key to Farhadi’s finely composed puzzle is in what he holds back from the audience, but to his credit, he doesn’t just rely on the payoff for narrative satisfaction.
Beginning with a confrontational office divorce, Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave the country on a soon to expire visa, »
- Jordan M. Smith
Chicago – What makes up a great audio commentary? For me, I don’t want to hear anecdotes about what it was like on the set. And I can’t stand those audio tracks that essentially just describe what I’m watching. A great track illuminates a film in a new way, often pointing out things that you didn’t notice or filmmaking techniques that worked on a subliminal level. Such is the case with writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s track on his 2011 masterpiece “A Separation,” the winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (along with the Chicago Film Critics Association Award in the same category) and one of the best films of the last decade from any country.
From the very beginning, Farhadi’s audio commentary only makes his film more interesting. He points out how and why he had his two central characters speaking directly to »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
In the Iranian film A Separation, writer/director Asghar Farhadi masterfully explores the themes of judgment and blame when a series of unfortunate events escalates into utter disaster. The opening scene of the film immediately forces the viewer into the role of judge—both literally and figuratively. (The camera shows the scene from the judge's perspective as you jump into the film.)
Simin (Leila Hatami) is petitioning for a divorce from Nader (Peyman Moadi), but the courts in Iran aren't as understanding as they are in the United States. The judge deems Simin's desire to leave the country frivolous and her weariness at caring for Nader's father, who suffers from a debilitating case of Alzheimer's, an unsuitable reason to dissolve a 14-year marriage.
- John Keith
If last year’s fantastic “A Separation” put Leila Hatami on everyone’s World Cinema Movie Star radar (you’ve got one of those, right?), then “The Last Step” ("Pele Akher"), which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and is directed by her husband, Ali Mosaffa, may be the film that consolidates her position. But while it has already deservedly scooped her the Best Actress award in Karlovy Vary, we shouldn’t let her shimmering but grounded portrayal outshine the film itself. Also the recipient of the International Critics' Prize, the movie engrosses from beginning to end as an inventive, playful, semi-tragic drama of marriage, jealousy, love, death and filmmaking in modern-day Tehran. Perhaps it twists and turns once or twice too often, but even if it does it's crucial to note that its failures are never of ambition or intention. As such it is exciting to see »
- Jessica Kiang
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 21, 2012
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
The 2011 Iranian drama film A Separation racked up a whole lot of honors in 2012, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language film.
Set in contemporary Iran, the movie is about the dissolution of a marriage: Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) and daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) and sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi). Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents’ home but, Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman (Sareh Bayat) to assist with his father in his wife’s absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. But serious complications soon ensue »
Kelsey Osgood examines the religious and cultural significance of costume design in 2012 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, A Separation (directed by Asghar Farhadi).
Perhaps for many observers, particularly those who live in liberal Western cultures, the concept of Arab and Persian religious uniform is symbolised by the simplicity of the black burqa. The pious pare down their clothing to the least colourful and individualizing garments in order to humble themselves before their God.
As generally decreed by feminist scholars, women in religiously observant societies are those most affected by sartorial limits. But like most practices viewed as wholly restrictive, the rules of modest dress for religious women and the way these women operate within this system, often illuminate more than they hide. Instead of eradicating choice, these limits highlight it; the echoes of the smallest fashion decision reverberate in costume, even for the Chasidish or Muslim female.
Carlos Reygadas‘ Post Tenebras Lux Cannes 2012 Winners Pt.1: Michael Haneke’s Amour, Matteo Garrone’s Reality, Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills The Best Actor was Mads Mikkelsen, who late last year received the European Film Award for European Achievement in World Cinema. (Among Mikkelsen’s future World Cinema "achievements" may be one of the villainous roles in Thor 2.) Mikkelsen’s Cannes victory was for his performance as a man (falsely) accused of sexually molesting a child — and the inevitable hysteria that ensues — in Thomas Vinterberg’s Danish psychological drama The Hunt. Carlos Reygadas cosmically surrealist family drama, Post Tenebras Lux ("Light After Darkness") earned the Mexican filmmaker the Best Director Award. In 2007, Reygadas’ Silent Night tied with Persepolis for the Jury Prize. And just a few days ago, Post Tenebras Lux was greeted by loud boos. And finally, the socially conscious British filmmaker Ken Loach won the »
- Andre Soares
A Separation, 2011.
Written and Directed by Asghar Farhadi.
A married couple are faced with separation when they’re unable to agree on a difficult, life changing decision. Should they leave Iran to improve the life of their adolescent daughter, or stay in Iran and look after an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s?
The opening of A Separation sees Simin (Leila Hatami) pleading with a legal mediator / judge to be granted a divorce from her husband Nader (Peyman Moaadi), but her request is rejected by the Iranian legal authority. As Simin moves out and they begin the titular separation, she can no longer care for Nader’s house-bound father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) so Nader employs Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to look after him. I fear to give away too much by telling you anything further about the story, but I »
Iranians take to social media to praise Academy-award winning film condemned by Islamic Republic
A Separation has become the first movie ever to take an Academy Award to Iran after winning the best foreign language Oscar, prompting national celebration at a critical time in the country's history.
Millions of Iranians stayed up all night to watch the film's director, Asghar Farhadi, going up on the stage and delight his countrymen at a time when their lives are clouded with fear of war with Israel and crippling economic sanctions.
"At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy," said Farhadi, while accepting the Oscar. "At the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden »
- Saeed Kamali Dehghan
A Separation, an Iranian drama about a couple considering a divorce, wins best foreign language film at the 2012 Oscars
Oscars 2012 coverage continues on our live blog
A Separation has won the best foreign language film Oscar at the Academy Award ceremony currently taking place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Iranian divorce drama, directed by Asghar Farhadi and starring Peyman Maadi and Leila Hatami, has been in pole position for the Oscar ever since it carried off the Golden Globe last month.
A Separation was up against four other contenders, including Agnieszka Holland's second world war drama In Darkness and the Israeli father-son rivalry story Footnote. It was confidently expected to win the award after Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In, which beat it to the best foreign film Bafta a fortnight ago, was not submitted as Spain's official entry.
A Separation, which examines the moral »
Plot: An upper-middle class Iranian couple separate when the wife, Simin (Leila Hatami) decides that she doesn.t want their daughter growing up in Iran.s repressive environment. Her husband, Nader (Peyman Moaadi) - a reasonable enough guy, feels he can.t leave due to his elderly father, who.s ravaged by Alzheimer.s. In order to care for his father, Nader hires the lower-class; devoutly religious Razieh- whose hot tempered husband is deep in debt to his many creditors. Things go from bad to »
- Chris Bumbray
Chicago – Divorce, aging parents, economics, religion and social standing can be applied to any circumstance in any modern culture. The culture in Iran may seem mysterious, but there is nothing uncommon regarding what their people go through in the Oscar nominated “A Separation.”
Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and nominated for an Academy Award in the same category, “A Separation” is a universal example of how one problem can trip a wire to many problems. Viewed through the filter of the patriarchal society of Iran, those problems offer even more intensity, with the women becoming both the arbiters of the solutions and the victims of what future may result from those solutions.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Chicago – One of the great surprises of today’s Oscar nominations was the Best Original Screenplay nod to writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation.” It has already won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and also has been nominated for the same distinction at the upcoming Academy Awards.
“A Separation” is a window into the Iranian culture, but with human emotions and reactions that are universal. The implications of a couple separating in a patriarchal society like Iran is told with a surprising verve and sensitivity, especially towards the male characters, who are also complete victims of the moral circumstance. Farhadi’s film takes on themes of class, gender relations and aging with a reality that almost makes it seem like a documentary.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classic
Asghar Farhadi was in Chicago the first week of the year, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards were just announced, and as is always the case on "Oscar morning," there were glaring omissions. This morning, however, the snubs were especially shocking -- more so than in previous years. For starters, Michael Fassbender, who had been garnering attention for several breakthrough performances this year (not to mention going the full monty in one of them), was left off the Best Actor list for his work in Shame. Even more remarkable was how Leonardo DiCaprio was stiffed for his transformational work in J. Edgar. Similarly, Albert Brooks was criminally overlooked for Drive. Having said that, there were many delightful surprises such as Nick Nolte grabbing a nod for his understated turn in the terribly underrated Warrior and Melissa McCarthy scoring a rare comedic nod for Best Supporting Actress in Bridesmaids. That said, the snubs stink and that what brings us to the purpose of this post. »
- Jon Chattman
A little over a year after jailing and banning their most famous filmmaker from making movies, Iran might win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It would be a first for the nation whose government seems to strongly dislike creativity and freedom of speech, but its entry this year, A Separation, almost seems like a sure thing. Come February, writer/director Asghar Farhadi and Iran might be standing on the winner’s podium. But it’s not a done deal yet. A Separation and 8 other films were announced last week as part of the Oscar shortlist – just one step away from becoming an official nominee. They include a Danish comedy set in Argentina, a masculine drama about the underground world of illegal bovine growth hormones in Belgium, and something marvelous from Wim Wenders. It’s, to say the least, a varied group. Except that almost all of them are dramas from writer/directors. So »
- Cole Abaius
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