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"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 »
- Daniel Walber
This Iranian import made news when its director found himself on the wrong side of the recent travel ban. It’s well worth the bother. Asghar Farhadi’s suspense story can’t be topped for maturity, insight or honest emotions about social stress: after an assault in a new apartment, the strain affects everything that a wife and husband do — driving a wedge through their marriage. Is it all built on a shaky foundation, like the crumbling apartment building they had to evacuate?
2016 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 124 min. / Forushande / Street Date May 2, 2017 / 34.99
Starring: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Babak Karimi, Mina Sadati, Farid Sajjadi Hosseini, Mojtaba Pirzadeh, Maral Bani Adam, Emad Emami, Sam Valipour, Ehteram Boroumand, Mehdi Koushki, Shirin Aghakashi, Sahra Asadollahe.
Cinematography: Hossein Jafarian
Film Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari
Original Music: Sattar Oraki
Written and Directed by Asghar Farhadi »
- Glenn Erickson
As reported by Variety, British actor Tim Pigott-Smith died last week on April 7. Variety doesn’t have a cause of death, but Pigott-Smith was set to play Willy Loman in a touring production of Death Of A Salesman that was supposed to open this week, so his death was apparently unexpected. Pigott-Smith was 70.
In England, Pigott-Smith had a long and successful career with memorable appearances in everything from The Hour, The Chief, and a handful of original Doctor Who episodes in the ‘70s. However, he was probably best known for playing Police Superintendent Ronald Merrick in the 1984 series The Jewel In The Crown, which told stories about the final days of the British Raj in India after World War II—a role that earned Pigott-Smith a Best Actor award at the BAFTAs in 1985.
Here in the United States, Pigott-Smith is better known for his movie roles ...
- Sam Barsanti
British star of stage and screen died on Friday.
“Tim was one of the great actors of his generation,” Pigott-Smith’s agent John Grant said in a statement. “Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend.”
Pigott-Smith, who had been due to begin a stage tour of Death Of A Salesman on Monday in Northampton, famously played police superintendent Ronald Merrick in Granada Television series The Jewel In The Crown, which earned him a best actor Bafta award in 1985.
Pigott-Smith was born in Warwickshire and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He performed on stage many times before landing his big break in The Jewel In The Crown.
The actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died at the age of 70.
The character actor’s career spanned almost five decades on stage and screen. Born in Rugby in 1946, he graduated from the University of Bristol in 1967 and went on to train at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school. He began his professional career at the Bristol Old Vic in 1969. »
- Ruth McKee and Michael Billington
For his “Jewel in the Crown” role as a police superintendent during the last days of the British Raj in India, Pigott-Smith won a BAFTA for Best Actor in 1985. This year, Pigott-Smith received an OBE for his services to drama. He was also nominated in 2014-15 for Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards for his lead role in “King Charles III,” which was just filmed for a TV movie adaptation.
Pigott-Smith was set to play Willy Loman opposite his wife Pamela Miles in a touring production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” The play was set to open Apr. 10 at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate Theatre.
“Everyone at Royal and Derngate and all involved with the production of Death Of A Salesman are deeply saddened by this tragic news, »
- Erin Nyren
Tim Pigott-Smith as Lord Ascot in Alice In Wonderland. Photo: © 2010 Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Film, stage and small screen actor Tim Pigott-Smith - who was made an OBE in this year's New Year Honours list - died this morning, aged 70.
His agent John Grant confirmed his death and described him as "one of the great actors of his generation" He added: "Much loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend."
Pigott-Smith - who had been due to appear in a stage production of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman next week - became a household name thanks to his appearance in ITV Raj-set drama Jewel In The Crown in 1984. He won a BAFTA for his role as police sergeant Ronald Merrick.
In addition to his television work, Pigott-Smith, who was born in Rugby, Warwickshire and trained at the Bristol Old Vic, »
- Amber Wilkinson
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Osgood Perkins)
Osgood Perkins’ debut feature, The Blackcoat’s Daughter – originally known as February at its premiere at Tiff last year – is a stylish exercise in dread, teasing out its slow-drip horrors with precision, and building a deliriously evil presence that hovers along the fringes. However, there’s a thin line between mystery and vagueness in storytelling, and it becomes difficult to decide where a »
- The Film Stage
This Iranian domestic drama from the director of A Separation lays its symbolism on with a trowel – but it works
Asghar Farhadi is not a director who hides his symbolic subtext. The imagery in this engrossing drama, about a couple of actors whose marriage is tested when she is violently assaulted in their new home, is so overt, Farhadi might as well be sounding a klaxon. There’s the choice of the play within the film – a Persian translation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman’s impotence and frustration permeate the film like cheap aftershave. And there’s the reason that Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Emad (Shahab Hosseini) have to move house in the first place – their original apartment building is collapsing. The cracks in their home life are literal as well as figurative.
With a writer-director less skilled than Farhadi, this occasional lack of subtlety might be a problem. »
- Wendy Ide
We take a look at new Blu-rays of two ’80s classics.
Shout! Factory’s relatively young collectors label, Shout Select, is something of an odd duck. This is less of a criticism than an observation as their releases so far bear no real discernible through line. We’ve gotten well-deserved Blu-rays of eagerly awaited ’80s classics like To Live and Die in La, Road House, and Midnight Run, but the label has also released/announced titles like Death of a Salesman, The Chinese Connection, and Simon Pegg’s forgettable 2012 film, A Fantastic Fear of Everything. So yeah, there’s something of an odd inconsistency across the catalog.
Red Dawn (1984)
A small town in Colorado begins its day like any other until strangers drop from the sky. Soviet »
- Rob Hunter
The film caught up in the travel ban row tells the story of a sexual assault that exposes the emotions seething beneath the surface of Iranian bourgeois life
Asghar Farhadi’s sombre new movie is the story of a shocking and mysterious event which shatters the wellbeing of a middle-class couple. It is about male pride, male violence, male privilege – but since its first appearance at Cannes last year, the film has outgrown its own immediate significance. It became a totem for cultural resistance to Donald Trump when the proposed travel ban threatened to exclude this Iranian director from the Academy Awards, where The Salesman was nominated for best foreign language film (Farhadi had already won an Oscar in this category for his 2011 film A Separation). The ban was overturned, but Farhadi stayed away in protest anyway. His film had a hugely well-attended free outdoor screening on the night in London, »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Salesman review: Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winner finally makes it to British soil, but will you buy into it?
The Salesman review by Paul Heath, March 2017.
The Salesman review
After competing in-competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and walking away with the award for Best Screenplay and Best Actor for the formidable performance of Shahab Hosseini, The Salesman‘s success has grown and grown, culminating in Oscar triumph in the Best Foreign Language Film category at last month’s ceremony.
Asghar Farhadi‘s film comes to UK screens nearly a year after its high-profile debut, British audiences waiting with baited breath to see what all of the fuss is about. The Salesman opens with groups of people seen fleeing a crumbling apartment block; cracks starting to appear all around them as chaos unfolds. Amongst them is the aforementioned Hosseini playing the lead as Emad Etesami, »
- Paul Heath
The Salesman, written and directed by prominent filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, is all set to release in India on 31st March 2017. The Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini starrer, in association with Alliance Media & Entertainment & PVR Pictures, have launched the trailer of the film. The trailer is so well-crafted, it will keep you gripped from beginning to end.
Having premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, winning awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Shahab Hosseini), the film has received immense appreciation globally. The Salesman also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Commenting on the same, Mr. Sunil Doshi, Director, Alliance Media & Entertainment stated, “In the world of excess, attention deficit disorder, recommendation algorithms imposed by technology, I would like to offer handpicked and curated choices to the audience like a boutique instead of super/hyper market of content! This is what I endeavor to do at Sunil Doshi presents! »
- Press Releases
Where would American playwrights be without the vagaries of capitalism to fuel their family dramas? The unpaid electric bill in “The Glass Menagerie,” the stinginess of a husband-father in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” the breadwinner who can’t close a deal in “Death of a Salesman.” In Steven Levenson’s magnificent new play, “If I Forget,” which opened February 22 at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre, money is the least of anybody’s problems in the first act. However, by the end of this full-bodied two-and-a-half hour production, money has come to shape everything. The drama’s three loving, »
- Robert Hofler
Rome – Iran rejoiced Monday at news of “The Salesman’s” Oscar victory for best foreign language film, but political reverberations risk undermining the artistic accomplishment of director Asghar Farhadi’s film.
Farhadi did not attend the ceremony in protest against President Trump’s travel ban, despite the suspension of the executive order by U.S. courts.
“Proud of cast & crew of ‘The Salesman’ for Oscar & stance against #MuslimBan. Iranians have represented culture & civilization for millennia,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted.
Iran’s government-owned Press TV cheered news of the Oscar with the headline “Asghar Farhadi wins another Oscar for Iran” on its website. Although the Academy Award for best foreign language film is customarily accepted by the winning film’s director, it is considered a prize for the submitting country as a whole.
In a prepared statement read out by Iranian American engineer Anousheh Ansari (pictured, right), who accepted »
- Nick Vivarelli
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi spoke out against President Trump's travel ban in a poignant statement ready by Anousheh Ansari after the filmmaker won Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman at the 2017 Academy Awards.
Farhadi announced that he would not attend this year's ceremony in protest of the ban, which prohibited immigrants and travelers from seven countries, including Iran, from entering the United States. While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later halted the executive order, the Trump administration has vowed to replace it with a similar order soon.
In his statement, »
‘The Salesman’ (Courtesy: Amazon Studios and Cohen Media Group)
By: Carson Blackwelder
The one chance for the entire world to get involved with the Academy Awards has always been the best foreign language film category. Since any country can submit a film each year, though, that means the competition is intense. Let’s take a look at the countries that have snagged nominations this year and see how they’ve performed in the past in the hopes of shedding some light on what might happen come February 26.
This year the five nominees for best foreign language film are Land of Mine from Denmark, A Man Called Ove from Sweden, The Salesman from Iran, Tanna from Australia, and Toni Erdmann from Germany. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg lists The Salesman as the frontrunner in this category — obviously due to the film’s merits and also potentially due to its director, »
- Carson Blackwelder
George Segal rode talent and a hot streak to the top of the movie heap from the mid-1960s into the 1980s. If you only know Segal for his popular TV series “Just Shoot Me” and “The Goldbergs,” here are crucial earlier roles to check out.
This was a break-out role for Segal, a prestigious WWII drama with a mostly British cast that included John Mills, Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Patrick O’Neal, and Denholm Elliott. Segal played a charismatically amoral American sharpie, scrambling to maintain his place at the top of the black-market heap in a Japanese prison camp.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), dir. Mike Nichols:
Segal earned his lone Oscar nomination for this role, in Nichols’ adaptation of Edward Albee’s stinging marital drama. He brought brains and vulnerability as a college professor who, with his mousy wife (Sandy Dennis »
- Marshall Fine
Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-nominated Iranian drama “The Salesman” will receive a free open-air premiere in London on Feb. 26, the night of the Oscars ceremony. London mayor Sadiq Khan will host the screening as part of his ‘London is open’ campaign, celebrating the British capital’s diversity.
The screening will see London’s iconic Trafalgar Square transformed into a public cinema for an audience of up to 10,000 people just hours before the start of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, where “The Salesman” is nominated for best foreign language film.
“Screening ‘The Salesman’ in Trafalgar Square has a great symbolic value for me,” said Farhadi. “The gathering of the audience around ‘The Salesman’ in this famous London square is a symbol of unity against the division and separation of people. I welcome and appreciate this invaluable show of solidarity.”
Farhadi announced last month that he would not attend the Oscars in »
- Robert Mitchell
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who helmed the searing drama A Separation, delivers another moving film that is both a gripping domestic drama and pointed exploration of the challenges of life in contemporary Iran. Iranian filmmakers have along tradition of crafting films of strong social commentary while under the constraints of a restrictive environment. Few contemporaries are as skilled at this as Farhadi, as A Separation showed. That film dealt with a marriage where the future of the couple’s young daughter forced the parents into a choice. Here, another couple faced a different kind of choice, but also one driven by the realities of life in Tehran. Not surprisingly, this taut, emotional, and powerful drama is one of this year’s nominees for »
- Cate Marquis
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