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Beat the Devil (1953) Directed by John Huston Like in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Humphrey Bogart is a globe-trotting fortune hunter out to plunder the developing world like a Conrad antihero who grew up playing stickball—here, he and dreamy-divine wife Gina Lollobrigida are en route to a shady uranium fortune somewhere in Africa. Like in The Maltese Falcon, he’s racing for his MacGuffin in unfriendly competition with a seedy gallery of expatriate character actors...
The Salesman Directed by Asghar Farhadi Opens January 27 Asghar Farhadi’s absorbing, Oscar-nominated seventh feature, The Salesman, opens on a theater set: neon marquees and living room furniture. The production is Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, a play many Americans read in their teens, between a biology textbook and a driver’s manual. It’s also well-known in Iran, where Farhadi’s film is set, among his usual milieu of educated, unhappy couples. Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh...
Fireworks Wednesday (2006) Directed by Asghar Farhadi Opens March 16 at Film Forum Fireworks Wednesday is the third film Asghar Farhadi has directed, although it is the fourth of his films to come out in the United States—after A Separation, The Past, and About Elly—his fifth, sixth, and third, released here in that order. This shuffled chronology, I want to suggest, is not unlike the plot of a Farhadi film, in which each divulged bit of information...
Horror is a celebrated genre in Asian countries like Japan and Korea, but only recently has it begun to creep into other regions of the continent (Israeli horror is the new zeitgeist, for example). Iran has a tiny handful of horror films to its name, but in recent years, filmmakers in Iran and the diaspora have experimented more with the genre, like the artful and morose A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,...