We're breaking convention to do things a little backwards this month. Let us explain.
Before we had confirmed a guest or filmmaker for this month, it was announced that director Asghar Farhadi would be unable to enter the United States to attend the Oscars ceremony - he is once again nominated, by the way - thanks to sudden, draconian, poorly-implemented immigration policy. Farhadi's plight is not the most heartbreaking story to emerge in the past month, but it is emblematic of how ridiculous this action has been. It became clear that this is something we would have to address on the show, probably during the middle segment.
Then we realised there would probably never be a more appropriate time for us to discuss the films of Asghar Farhadi, so we decided to do something we'd never done before: we choose the filmmaker first.
This month, Hell Is For Hyphenates will be all about the incredible films of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.
With our filmmaker-of-the-month selected, we then set about searching for the perfect person to help us discuss him, and there was really only one choice: Toronto-based film critic Tina Hassannia.
Tina wrote the book on Farhadi, quite literally: Asghar Farhadi: Life and Cinema was released by The Critical Press in 2014, and is available from the Critical Press website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo. In the book, Tina traces Farhadi's origins as an emerging filmmaker in Iran, from his directorial debut Dancing in the Dust through to 2013's acclaimed The Past. The book also features an in-depth interview with Farhadi, and is undoubtedly the definitive work on this influential filmmaker.
We were delighted that Tina immediately agreed to join us on the show, and cannot wait to discuss Dancing in the Dust (2003), Beautiful City (2004), Fireworks Wednesday (2006), About Elly (2009), A Separation (2011), The Past (2013), The Salesman (2016), as well as Farhadi's career and history with her.
This episode will also feature something else we've never done before, but to find out what that is, you'll have to listen to the show when it's released on 28 February!