Asghar Farhadi in the Variety Studio:

'The Past' Director Asghar Farhadi at the Variety Studio: Cannes Edition

Helmer-scribe Asghar Farhadi chats with Raya Abirached (MBC’s “Scoop With Raya”) about “The Past,” his follow-up to 2011’s Oscar winner “A Separation.”

The film, which follows an Iranian man who abandons his family to return to his homeland, touches upon themes of melancholy romanticism, a prevalent  topic in Farhadi’s work.

“That is the atmosphere in which I anchor my films…This way I can ask the questions which are real and personal,” the filmmaker admitted in the Studio. “Originally this story started with a personal memory that a friend told me about. Something similar happened to him.”

The filmmaker does not see the pic as a clash between cultures, but rather as a film that highlights common points of culture so that both audiences can easily relate. Influences of other filmmakers have come into play when it came to creating his style. At Cannes, the star-studded jury that includes Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee didn’t intimidate the helmer.

“I fee like I have always known them because I know their films…As a child, even before going to university and studying theater, when I used to make short films, I was inspired by Iranian filmmakers. But then I went to university, I became more familiar with people who did influence me, like Fellini,” said Farhadi. “All I hope is that when they see the film, they enjoy it, but more specifically, just before they fall asleep at night, they reflect on the issues that are suggested by the film.”

More Cannes Film Festival

  • Willem Dafoe on Making 'The Lighthouse'

    Willem Dafoe on Making 'The Lighthouse' With Robert Pattinson

    Cannes’ breakout film and winner of the critics awards “The Lighthouse” isn’t a traditional horror movie, “It’s a little like Hitchcock,” co-star Dafoe explained to Variety’s Marc Malkin. “It’s a little like Bergman, it’s a little like Tarkovsky. But it’s also got a certain amount of humor.” The black and white film by director Robert [...]

  • Chloe Sevigny Podcast

    Chloë Sevigny on Bill Murray's Charm While Filming 'The Dead Don't Die'

    Chloe Sevigny sat down with Variety‘s Marc Malkin to discuss her latest film, “The Dead Don’t Die,” which opened the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, for The Big Ticket podcast. She dished on working with co-stars Bill Murray and Adam Driver, revealing that Murray once took she and Driver on a joyride to a nearby fruit [...]

  • Zhou DongyuKering Talks: Zhou Dongyu, 72nd

    Zhou Dongyu: Roles for Chinese Actresses Improving

    China’s Zhou Dongyu may have taken a recent turn as a producer, but the 27-year-old actress plans to focus on honing her craft in front of the camera rather than branching out too much into other roles behind it. She also believes that female roles are increasing in quantity and quality in China, and is [...]

Most Popular

  • Big Little Lies Emmys 2019

    Emmys: Why Your Favorite Shows Aren’t Nominated

    Variety‘s Elizabeth Wagmeister explains why some fan favorite shows weren’t nominated this year. They weren’t snubbed, they just weren’t eligible. Shows like “Big Little Lies,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” “The Loudest Voice” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” all missed the eligibility window of having its first episode air between June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019.

  • Chance The Rapper at The Lion

    Chance the Rapper Was a Nostalgia Consultant on ‘The Lion King’

    Chance the Rapper said Donald Glover brought him on as a nostalgia consultant for “The Lion King” because he was such a “‘Lion King’ aficionado,” he told Variety‘s Marc Malkin at the LA premiere. He also revealed that Glover, his friend and voice of adult Simba in the live-action/CGI remake, had him record lines for a […]

Access exclusive content