Mahmoud Kalari - News Poster

News

Berlin Film Review: ‘Pig’

Berlin Film Review: ‘Pig’
You think you’ve got problems? In Iranian director Mani Haghighi’s lunatic black comedy “Pig,” our bushy-haired hero Hassan (a terrific Hasan Majuni) is a celebrated filmmaker languishing on a government blacklist, being stalked by a wannabe replacement for his beautiful actress lover (Leila Hatami) who has agreed to appear in his greatest rival’s lavish fantasy film. Meanwhile, Hassan is reduced to arguing for his artistic vision on the set of a bug-spray commercial which he’s imagined as a giallo-influenced musical in which writhing women with antennae vomit pale green jelly. And a serial killer is loose in Tehran, beheading his director friends (including one “Mani Haghighi”) one by one. The paradigm-shift premise that prevents Haghighi’s “Pig” becoming a dark-tinged murder thriller (fine, maybe apart from the self-reference, the ant-women, and the jelly puke) is that Hassan’s biggest issue is how it all reflects on his profile. Given that he
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Busan’s New Currents Award goes to 'Knife', 'Donor'

  • ScreenDaily
The 21st Busan International Film Festival (Biff) wrapped on Saturday with its New Currents Award going to two Chinese debut features - Wang Xuebo’s The Knife In The Clear Water and Zang Qiwu’s The Donor.

Running Oct 6-15 in the aftermath of a typhoon and dealing with a partial industry boycott and smaller operating budget, the festival saw a subdued atmosphere with total attendance down 27% from last year to 165,149 this year.

Accredited attendees were down 40% to 5,759 this year, including 1,381 market badge holders and excluding press.

Malian director Souleymane Cisse headed the New Currents jury, joined by Indian producer Guneet Monga, International Film Festival Rotterdam festival director Bero Beyer, Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu and Iranian director Mahmoud Kalari.

They described The Knife In The Clear Water as “a poetic parable on grief and freedom” and praised The Donor for its “serene maturity” as an “excellently scripted film” that “plays as much on the images as on the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Chinese Films ‘Knife’ and ‘Donor’ Joint Winners of Busan Festival

Chinese Films ‘Knife’ and ‘Donor’ Joint Winners of Busan Festival
Busan — Two Chinese films were announced Saturday as joint winners of the Busan Film Festival’s main competition section.

Wang Xuebo’s “Knife in the Clear Water” and Zang Qiwu’s “The Donor” topped the competitive New Currents section which focuses on up and coming film making talent from Asia.

“The Donor” is a critique of the disparities between rich and poor in contemporary China and is the story of a man who sells his kidney. “Knife” is an elegaic examination of a minority Muslim community and tells the tale of an old farmer who has difficulty giving up his bull.

The jury was headed by veteran film maker Souleymane Cisse from Mali, and included India’s Guneet Monga, The Netherlands’ Bero Beyer, Iran’s Mahmoud Kalari and Chinese-Korean director Zhang Lu.

“Parting,” by Afghanistan’s Navid Mahmoudi was given a special mention by the jury. The film was selected
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Busan: Jury Members Celebrate Festival’s Survival

Busan: Jury Members Celebrate Festival’s Survival
Busan — “The fact that it’s here and celebrating its 21st anniversary,” was the most telling comment by Busan ‘New Currents’ juror and festival director of International Film Festival Rotterdam Bero Beyer, speaking at a press conference on Friday.

The mood was jubilation that the Busan International Film Festival continues to exist — despite its recent struggles.

Beyer’s fellow juror, Indian producer Guneet Monga whose credits include “The Lunchbox,” “The Congress,” and “Tigers,” and whose “Zubaan” opened the 2015 edition of Busan, said: “Coming here with ‘Zubaan’ was a life altering experience. I cannot imagine a year without Busan. I look forward to coming here every year.”

“It was very hard to prepare for this year’s festival. And through all these hardships, the jury members have held our hand,” festival director and celebrated Korean actress Kang Soo-youn said.

“Iffr feels very connected to Busan. We are a platform for free
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'A Quiet Dream', 'The Dark Wind' bookend Busan 2016

  • ScreenDaily
Festival will open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Busan International Film Festival (Biff) on Tuesday unveiled its line-up, set to open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Running October 6-15, the 21st Biff will screen a total of 301 films from 69 countries with 96 world premieres and 27 international premieres. The festival will close with the international premiere of Iraq-Germany-Qatar co-production The Dark Wind, directed by Hussein Hassan (Narcissus Blossom).

Festival director Kang Soo-youn said of A Quiet Dream: “It’s a film that people who like films and people who make films can’t help but like.”

The latest from Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu (Dooman River, Grain In Ear), A Quiet Dream stars Han Ye-ri (Haemoo) as a young woman caring for her comatose father while running a bar and being wooed by three men.

Young Korean indie directors Yang Ikjune, Yoon Jong-bin
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Busan reveals 2016 lineup

  • ScreenDaily
Festival will open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Busan International Film Festival (Biff) on Tuesday unveiled its line-up, set to open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Running Oct 6-15, the 21st Biff will screen a total of 301 films from 69 countries with 96 world premieres and 27 international premieres. The festival will close with the international premiere of Iraq-Germany-Qatar co-production The Dark Wind, directed by Hussein Hassan (Narcissus Blossom).

Festival director Kang Soo-youn said of A Quiet Dream: “It’s a film that people who like films and people who make films can’t help but like.”

The latest from Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu (Dooman River, Grain In Ear), A Quiet Dream stars Han Ye-ri (Haemoo) as a young woman caring for her comatose father while running a bar and being wooed by three men. Young Korean indie directors Yang Ikjune, Yoon Jong-bin
See full article at ScreenDaily »

3rd Paris Images Trade Show: Attendance Surges, Shoots in France Bounce Back After Attacks, Lured by 30% Tax Rebate

3rd Paris Images Trade Show: Attendance Surges, Shoots in France Bounce Back After Attacks, Lured by 30% Tax Rebate
Paris – Wrapping Saturday, Feb. 6, attendance at the Third Paris Images Trade Show ramped up strongly this year. One example: Paris Images Location Expo recorded a 25% increase in exhibitors and nearly a 50% hike in participants.

Notwithstanding the terrorist attacks in November 2015, film production levels in the Paris region have quickly bounced back and are expected to attain record levels in 2016 as a result of the new 30% rate in force for the domestic and international tax rebate programs.

Major shoots confirmed for 2016 in the Paris area include Indian feature film “Befikre,” which has a 13-week shoot, with 10 weeks in Paris. There will also be a few days of shooting on “Fifty Shades Darker.” Christopher Nolan will lense “Dunkirk” in the North of France in May, and Neil Jordan will shoot the TV series “Rivieira” in the South of France. An undisclosed major U.S. TV series is planning to shoot in the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Paris Images Micro Salon Afc Showcases New Film Technology Trends

Paris — Organized by the French Cinematographer’s Association, the Afc, the two-day Micro-Salon, part of the Paris Images Trade Show, bows Friday Feb. 5.

“It’s a very special event,” said Jacques Delacoux, president of Aaton Digital, Transvideo and Affect. “I don’t think anything else exists like it in the world. It’s very attractive for people coming from abroad.”

Held in the legendary Femis national film school in Montmartre, the Micro Salon showcases cutting-edge filming, sound and lighting equipment from France and the rest of the world – with 56 exhibitors this year – and is also France’s main annual meet for cinematographers.

Exhibitors will organize a total of ten screenings about their new equipment.

Nathalie Durand, the new Afc prexy, spoke to Variety about some of the highlights of this year’s edition.

One of its main focuses is the new generation of drones and new high-performance miniaturized cameras, such as the 2.3 Kg Alexa Mini,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Team Top Ten: The Greatest Working Cinematographers

Amir here, to welcome you back to Team Top Ten, our monthly poll by all of the website’s contributors. For our first episode in 2014, we are looking at The Greatest Working Cinematographers in the (international) film industry. As long time readers of The Film Experience are surely aware, the visual language of cinema is something Nathaniel and the rest of us are very fond of discussing. Films and filmmakers that have a dash of style and understand cinema as a visual medium always get bonus points around these parts. We celebrate great works in cinematography on a weekly basis in Hit Me With Your Best Shot, but it was time to give the people behind the camera their due.

More than 50 cinematographers from all across the world received votes. If the final, somewhat American-centric, list doesn’t quite reflect that, chalk it up to the natural process of consensus voting.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Variety Critics Pick Their Oscar Nominees

Variety Critics Pick Their Oscar Nominees
Film critics, we’re often told, don’t vote for the Oscars — but if they did, here’s what at least three of their nomination ballots might look like. We listed our top five choices for best director, actor/actress, supporting actor/actress, original/adapted screenplay and cinematography. For best picture, we allowed ourselves 10 choices, based on the unlikely but theoretically possible outcome of 10 nominees in that category.

Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge

@askdebruge

Best Picture

“12 Years a Slave”

Dallas Buyers Club

Her

Inside Llewyn Davis

“Our Children”

“The Past”

Rush

Short Term 12

Stories We Tell

“Wadjda”

Best Director

Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis

Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity

Spike Jonze, “Her

Joachim Lafosse, “Our Children”

Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis

Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club

Tahar Rahim, “The Past”

Miles Teller, “The Spectacular Now

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Past' (2013) Movie Review

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) has made the trip from Iran to Paris for the first time in four years to finally sign divorce papers, officially ending his marriage to Marie (Berenice Bejo) at her request. Upon his arrival at the airport, Marie sees him through a thick pane of glass. She smiles, he shrugs. The airline has lost his bag and will have to send it to him the following day. They communicate by mouthing words and using hand gestures. One understands the other, but the metaphor is quite clear. At this moment in the film we know nothing about these two people. They could be happily married and he returning home from a business trip and she simply picking him up, but writer/director Asghar Farhadi and cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari's visual representation of the invisible barrier between the two weighs heavy on the rest of the film. Farhadi's The
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Directors on Their Teams: Asghar Farhadi on ‘The Past’

Directors on Their Teams: Asghar Farhadi on ‘The Past’
After winning multiple awards (including the foreign-language Oscar) for the 2011 “A Separation,” Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi made an abrupt change with “The Past,” set in Paris and filmed in French. The circumstances of filming were totally different, but the film contains his trademarks, including complex characters who are both right and wrong, a plot that’s simple yet with multiple surprises, and below-the-line contributions that make the film look spontaneous and genuine. When the film (distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S.) debuted at Cannes, Berenice Bejo won the fest’s best actress prize.

Production Design: Claude Lenoir

This is what I like: A lot of work went into the production design but when someone sees the film, they might think there has not been a production designer. Claude Lenoir had worked with Krzysztof Kieslowski and I was mesmerized by what he’d done in “Red.” He was
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Past’

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Past’
Asghar Farhadi may have left his native Iran to shoot a picture in Paris starring Berenice Bejo, but in all the ways that count, “The Past” couldn’t feel closer to home. Like 2011′s Oscar-winning “A Separation,” this is an exquisitely sculpted family melodrama in which the end of a marriage is merely the beginning of something else, an indelible tapestry of carefully engineered revelations and deeper human truths. If Farhadi’s sense of narrative construction is almost too incisive at times, costing the drama some focus and credibility in the final reels, he nonetheless maintains a microscopic attention to character, performance and theme that will make this powerfully acted picture a very classy specialty-division prospect.

Few filmmakers today can honestly claim to be working in the Renoir humanist tradition, but “The Past” is the veritable embodiment of the central “Rules of the Game” maxim that everyone has their reasons.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Past' (2013) Movie Review - Cannes Film Festival

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) has made the trip from Iran to Paris for the first time in four years to finally sign divorce papers, officially ending his marriage to Marie (Berenice Bejo) at her request. Upon his arrival at the airport, Marie sees him through a thick pane of glass. She smiles, he shrugs. The airline has lost his bag and will have to send it to him the following day. They communicate by mouthing words and using hand gestures. One understands the other, but the metaphor is quite clear. At this moment in the film we know nothing about these two people. They could be happily married and he returning home from a business trip and she simply picking him up, but writer/director Asghar Farhadi and cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari's visual representation of the invisible barrier between the two weighs heavy on the rest of the film. Farhadi's The
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

The Past | Cannes Review

Heavy, Heavy Hangs: Farhadi’s Latest a (mostly) Worthwhile Endeavor

For his first film made outside his native country, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi unveils his latest exercise in domestic unrest with the French language The Past. Following hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed 2011 film, A Separation, anticipation has been high, and Farhadi nearly succeeds in equaling the compelling portrait of miscommunication and misunderstanding he has so brilliantly wrought in his previous film. Once again beginning with a couple on the verge of severing ties (though this time the separation has calcified into divorce), intertwining character arcs unveil an overly complicated scenario that unfortunately brings us to a finale that seems a bit little too late.

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) has returned to Paris from Tehran seemingly to grant his ex-wife Marie’s (Berenice Bejo) request to divorce. While his presence wasn’t necessarily required, it seems they intend on finally ending on good terms,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

A Separation | Blu-ray Review

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,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation"

  • MUBI
One of the best films of 2011, currently playing in New York and Los Angeles, begins rolling out across the Us over next two months. Check the site for cities and dates.

"A Separation literally makes the viewer judge its protagonists," notes Vadim Rizov at GreenCine Daily: "in the opening scene, wife Simin (Leila Hatami) pleads for a divorce from husband Nader (Peyman Maadi). The Pov is the judge's, who skeptically asks why an Iranian woman would possibly want her daughter to grow up anywhere else. The offscreen interrogator/filmmaker is a familiar figure in Iranian cinema, with Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi often breaking the fourth walls in their films, often directly appearing (and/or heard off-camera) asking their characters questions. Kiarostami's seemingly given up on making films in Iran at all, while Panahi's imprisoned; for many, Iranian cinema's currently more associated right now with its absentees than actual films.
See full article at MUBI »

Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”

Though not as well known outside Iran as Abbas Kiarostami or Jafar Panahi, writer-director Asghar Farhadi has been steadily building an impressive cinematic resume since graduating from Tehran University in 1998 with a degree in dramatic arts. After a stint developing stage plays and TV series for Iran’s national broadcasting corporation, Farhadi co-scripted Ebrahim Hatamikia’s post-9/11 political farce Low Heights, about a desperate man who hijacks a plane carrying his wife and handicapped son. He then moved into the director’s chair with Dancing in the Dust and Beautiful City, a social-issue film concerning the archaic custom of “blood money” (under sharia, the relatives of a murdered Muslim can accept payment for legal vengeance in lieu of capital punishment for the perpetrator) that screened at Film Forum in 2006. Three years later, Farhadi won numerous awards, including the Silver Bear at the Berlinale, for About Elly, a tense, character-driven drama
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Nyff 2011. Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation"

  • MUBI
"'It's a screenwriter's film,' said a friend of Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, a designation that is at once accurate and dismissive, on the nose and besides the point," begins Adam Nayman in Reverse Shot. "Yes, the film, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin and received excellent reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival before its [screening] at Nyff, is extremely well-written, but the idea that its writerly qualities should preclude its recognition as vital cinema strikes me as pretty reductive. The film is superbly written, but it's also smartly directed, insofar as there's a continuity between its writer-director's ideas and the visual language he uses to express them. Take, for example, Farhadi's staging of the first scene…"

Segue to Michael J Anderson: "Opening with a pre-credit passage in which separating eponymous leads Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) address an off-camera magistrate in a tight, frontal two-shot,
See full article at MUBI »

Bab' Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul

Bab' Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul
Typecast Films

NEW YORK -- The third part of Tunisian director Nacer Khemir's so-called Desert Trilogy, this highly stylized and poetic film is unlikely to register as anything more than an exotic curiosity for anyone not fascinated by the intricacies of Sufi mysticism.

What Bab' Aziz lacks in narrative clarity it makes up for in visual and musical splendor, and the fact that its co-screenwriter is Tonino Guerra ("Red Desert") makes it of more than passing interest to film buffs.

The film's framing device revolves around the blind elderly dervish Bab' Azis (Parviz Shahinkhou) and his young granddaughter (Maryam Hamid) traveling through the desert in search of a legendary conference of dervishes that takes place every 30 years. To pass the time and distract her from the obstacles in their path, the dervish relates the legendary tale of a long-ago prince who lost his kingdom but gained insight to his soul by his endless staring at his own reflection in a small pool of water in the desert.

Other mystical tales are presented via the introduction of figures they encounter on their journey, including a man seeking revenge on the dervish who murdered his brother and a poet who has fallen in love with a dervish who abandoned him.

The story culminates with a depiction of the conference, filled with vibrant Sufi music and dance.

Gorgeously photographed (though the magnificently barren landscapes on display could hardly come across any other way) by Mahmoud Kalari, "Bab' Aziz" fairly demands to be experienced on the big screen.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites