Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Salesman ( and Auntie Glad)


I can't remember ever watching an Iranian movie, so I was awfully glad to catch a showing of The Salesman at Theatre Clwyd yesterday.
It proved to be an excellent watch.
Rana (Shahab Hosseini) and Emad (Taraneh Alidoosti) are an intellectual and arty married couple living in Tehran. He is a teacher of literature and both are actors in a fringe theatre company which is staging rehursals of Death of a Salesman. 
Having to leave their apartment ( under threat of collapse during a frightening opening sequence) the couple take over the rent of an apartment formally frequented by a prostitute and their life together come to a dramatic and unexpected turn after Rana is assaulted by an unknown former associate of the former tenant.
Almost seamlessly, the drama slides from the interesting story of the domestic life of the Iranian middleclasses to a much darker story of revenge and lost trust  as Emad searches for the assailant amid unspoken worries that Rana perhaps knew more than she is admitting to.
During his investigations, things get seriously embroiled and confused with parallels made between Emad's stage persona of Willy Lomax and his thwarted, impotent feelings as Rana's husband and all this done with the subtle yet interesting insights into the Government censorship of literature and theatre and the general  attitude towards women in this world where an Iranian actress playing a goodtime girl in an Arthur Miller play has to wear a red hijab and floor length coat to signify her character!

Alidoosti is impressive as the husband who cannot quite deal with the emasculating nature of his wife's attack and Hosseini matches his performance as  the wife who is initially shamed by events but who is ultimately disgusted by her husband's need for vengeance
8/10
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Now I can share some news of Auntie Glad, who has been moved much nearer to home after " going walkabout" from her previous care home. The village jungle telegraph ( which according to Gladys' daughter is more effective than anything the CIA could ever find out) told me yesterday that the move was imminent and now Gladys is living in a home in Prestatyn, a town only a few minutes away!
Visiting her will be rather melancholy for me as the care home is the one my mother died at fifteen years ago.

28 comments:

  1. "The Salesman" sounds good and I will watch for it here. And Auntie Glad went walkabout? Oh my! I suppose the new care home has better controls on that sort of thing?

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    1. Yes, i think the police were called in the last place to find her!

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  2. I am sorry to hear about Auntie Glad trying to make a run for it ... my mother in law did that a few times.
    They finally put a thing on her that set off alarms if she went through certain doors. She was also over 100 years old and still trying to get out and meet boys :)

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  3. oh my; happy that auntie glad was found safe.

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  4. That sounds like a film that would interest me. I think it was nominated and may have won an academy award for best foreign film.

    I am happy to hear that Auntie Glad will be closer to home.

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  5. It's often refreshing to see film drama from unexpected parts of the world. Hollywood and British film makers do not have a monopoly on good creative ideas, nor on the ability to explore the human condition with intelligence and compassion.

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  6. Poor old soul making a break for it.....at least now she's closer to home and maybe more folks will visit her and ease her mind a bit.

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    1. It was only a year ago she used to catch the bus home from shoping in the same town.......

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  7. I am really happy that Auntie Glad is moving closer to home. I hope your melanacholy at visiting the home diminishes quickly.

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  8. I'd rather be dead than in a 'care' home. There's a lot to be said for Confucianism, with its emphasis on filial (and familial) obligation.

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    1. Indeed my friend

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    2. And in the days when women rarely worked outside the home and people usually didn't live much beyond their 70s, maybe that was possible. For people with mortgages and full time jobs, it's just not an option to become a full time carer for a parent who may live till their 90s and need a high level of care. There are some excellent care homes, as well as the ones that make headlines.

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    3. Every family dynamic is different, so I can only speak from personal experience. Becoming a full-time carer, for someone with a high level of care, and who lives till their 90s, is definitely an option though. I did it (resigning from my job).

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    4. Not all elderly parents want a full-time carer. My Mother is in her 86th year and is still living independently. I'm 63 and still having to go to work everyday to keep the wolf from my door and not allowed to retire for another two years by which time, I'll be older and even more knackered than I am now. Hardly an ideal candidate to look after my Mother. You were very lucky that you were able to resign and take that option. Many of us have no alternative but to keep working.

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  9. I think The Salesman would make me angry. Doubt it will be available here anyway.
    Good to hear Auntie Glad is safely near her old village again. I'm sure she has many friends.

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  11. The Loft will get the movie I am sure maybe I can get out to see it.
    Happy to hear Auntie Glad is near.

    cheers, parsnip

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  12. Aunt Gladys being near will be nice . . .
    bringing up the past and memories
    might not be as pleasant . . .
    Thinking of you . . .

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  13. I am unfamiliar with the term " going walkabout" does that mean she absconded? If so, good for her.

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  14. When I worked in the intellectual disability sector, and when I worked long term care, that phrase always made me happy.. "absconded" has a sort of merriment about it. Like someone made a break for it, and god bless them.

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  15. Re: 'The Salesman'. Rather looking like I've missed the bus, J.G. Darn it! :-(

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  16. I was out in Iran during the revolution... the vast majority of people were lovely to me. I wore a Chador while there and it was funny to see the startled look in peoples eyes if they made eye contact. They weren't expecting to see a pair of blue eyes.

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  17. Sounds like an interesting movie. Coincidentally just finished reading "funny In Farsi". -- a small paperback -- humorous account from Iranian in U.S.

    Patients leaving facilities can be a problem and safety concern. Hope all goes well. Sometimes life in a facility is best for all as I've told my children, even though I might prefer otherwise.

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  18. I am a volunteer visitor to a lady who is 85 and who lives in a first class care home, a renovated Victorian mansion. My visits there reinforce to me that I would much rather stay in my own home! The smell of cleaning fluids, the other residents who behave badly, so sad. I hope this new home for Auntie Glad is a happy match for her.

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  19. It's good that Auntie Gladys is closer for visiting. I certainly understand the melancholy. I've been back to my father's nursing home only once since he died, other than collecting his things right after. I just can't face the ghosts there, too sad.

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  20. Great that Aunt Glad will be closer for visiting but sad that it will bring back melancholic memories of your own Mother.

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  21. you know how happy Aunt Glad will be to see you John...I also know how hard it is to go back to the place your parent last lived...my mom passed away 2 weeks ago today in her care home (dementia/unable to walk, 93.5 yo, also named Gladys)...she was there for over 3 years and I was there daily...I miss so many of the residents but don't know if I'll be able to visit...her best friend for over 80 years still lives alone, I'm praying she never has to move into a facility...hugs to Aunt G

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