NYC Happenings: Hong Sang-soo At MoMI And Asghar Farhadi At FSLC

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
In addition to some of the films playing this year's New Directors/New Films -- running March 21st - April 1st at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA (keep an eye out for Twitch's coverage) -- springtime in NYC looks to be a down right bless for fans of thoughtful, and sometimes very intense, character dramas with retrospectives for both Hong Sang-soo and Asghar Farhadi coming your way.

On March, 17th, 18th, and 23rd, the Museum of the Moving Image and The Korea Society will present 5 feature films from arguably one of the finest Korean directors who isn't making tent-pole blockbusters. A Saturday matinee kicks things off with Hong's rarely seen debut The Day A Pig Fell Into The Well (Metaphor-heavy poster to the left). And get this -- films are free with museum admission. So why no make a day of it?
| The full rundown of films, showtimes and further details at The Korea Society's website.
 
Before winning this year's Foreign Language Oscar for his stunning divorce drama, A Separation, Asghar Farhadi had previously made four other features, all of which will be presented the weekend of April 6th-8th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This is a rare opportunity to get a taste of Farhadi's origins, as none of these titles have seen release in North America outside of festival dates. From the fine folks at FSLC, here's the lowdown on each film: 

Films, Descriptions and Schedule

ABOUT ELLY (2009) 119min
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Countries: Iran/France
Farhadi's ABOUT ELLLY is a classically structured, brilliantly acted melodrama set during the seaside vacation of a group of old college friends. The group arrives at a ramshackle beach house, mending broken windows and doors while rekindling old friendships and rivalries. The lone interloper in the group is Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti), a teacher invited along by the enterprising Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani), who wants to pair Elly with her newly divorced friend Ahmad (A SEPARATION star Shahab Hosseini), who's flying in from Germany for the weekend. Then, one afternoon, Elly abruptly vanishes, setting into motion an escalating series of deceptions and disquieting revelations concerning both the missing woman and those around her.
Screens Friday, April 6 at 8:30PM, Saturday, April 7 at 6:45PM, and Sunday, April 8 at 1:30PM.

BEAUTIFUL CITY (Shah-re ziba) (2004) 101min
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Country: Iran
BEAUTIFUL CITY begins in a juvenile detention facility, as 18-year-old Akbar (Hossein Farzi-Zadeh) awaits execution for the murder of his girlfriend when he was 16. Meanwhile, outside the prison walls, paroled petty thief Ala (Babak Ansari) offers to help Akbar's sister, Firoozeh (Taraneh Alidoosti), secure clemency from the dead girl's vengeful father. As Ala and Firoozeh navigate a complex gauntlet of legal and emotional red tape, they find themselves growing unexpectedly close--a tentative romance skillfully woven into the film's life-or-death narrative.
Screens Friday, April 6 at 4:00PM, Saturday, April 7 at 4:30PM, and Sunday, April 8 at 8:15PM.

DANCING IN THE DUST (Raghs dar ghobar) (2003) 95min
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Country: Iran
Farhadi's enormously impressive debut feature, DANCING IN THE DUST begins with Azarbaijani emigre Nazar (Yousef Khodaparast) being forced by family and friends to divorce his beloved bride Reyhaneh (Baran Kosari) after rumors suggest that her mother is a prostitute. Soon, Nazar finds himself working double shifts to pay off his wedding debts and provide some restitution to his ex- (for whom he still pines). Then, on the run from a creditor, he hides in the back of a van belonging to an elderly snake hunter (Faramarz Gharibian) and winds up transported to the middle of the desert, where he haphazardly tries to corner a piece of the old man's business.
Screens Friday, April 6 at 2:00PM and Sunday, April 8 at 6:15PM.
 
FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY (Chaharshanbe-soori) (2006) 102min
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Country: Iran
Farhadi's sophisticated urban drama, FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY takes us on a journey through the complex relationships of contemporary urbanites in Tehran, set against the backdrop of the chaotic firework celebrations of the coming New Year. Rouhi (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young freelance maid who will be married in two days, is sent by her agency to the middle class home of a couple in the throes of a marital meltdown. Mojdeh (Hedye Tehran) is convinced her husband Morteza (Hamid Farokhnezhad) is cheating on her with the next-door neighbor. She employs Rouhi as a spy, thrusting her into the center of the maelstrom.
Screens Friday, April 6 at 6:15PM, Saturday, April 7 at 9:15PM, and Sunday, April 8 at 4:00PM.
 
 
Screening Schedule
 
Screening Venue:
The Film Society of Lincoln Center - Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65 Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam (upper level)
 
Friday, April 6
2:00PM          DANCING IN THE DUST (95min)
4:00PM          BEAUTIFUL CITY (101min)
6:15PM          FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY (102min)
8:30PM          ABOUT ELLY (119min)
 
Saturday, April 7
4:30PM          BEAUTIFUL CITY (101min)
6:45PM          ABOUT ELLY (119min)
9:15PM          FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY (102min)
 
Sunday, April 8
1:30PM          ABOUT ELLY (119min)
4:00PM          FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY (102min)
6:15PM          DANCING IN THE DUST (95min)
8:15PM          BEAUTIFUL CITY (101min)
 

| Tickets don't go on sale until March, 29th, but when they do, head on over to FilmLinc.com to grab your seats.

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