Close-up

Close-up

4.0 3
Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Cast: Abbas Kiarostami, Hossein Sabzian

     
 

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This Iranian film qualifies as a docudrama, and makes some telling comments on society as it tells its tale. In the story, Ali Sabzian, in a fit of whimsey, claims to a fellow passenger on the bus that he is the famous Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. So far, so good, but he then becomes involved with his fellow passenger and her family, claiming that he has…  See more details below

Overview

This Iranian film qualifies as a docudrama, and makes some telling comments on society as it tells its tale. In the story, Ali Sabzian, in a fit of whimsey, claims to a fellow passenger on the bus that he is the famous Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. So far, so good, but he then becomes involved with his fellow passenger and her family, claiming that he has cast the family's son in a major role and that the setting he intends to use is their home. At some point this tale comes unravelled, and the family takes him to court. A well-meaning judge persuades the family to drop the charges against this unemployed man. Ironically, while Ali is on trial, the maker of this current film (Abbas Kiarostami) decides to film the procedings, and also stages a reconstruction of the events leading up to the trial, using all the actual participants, but has the restaged trial end less happily.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Made in 1990 by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Close-Up would turn out to be one of the key films of the decade, even if it received little Stateside exposure outside the film festival and art house circuits. From the very first scene, it establishes one of the filmmaker's favorite themes: the relationship between the artist and the audience. The movie itself is a quasi-documentary based on a real-life case, that of Hossein Sabzian, a man who impersonated noted director Mohsen Makhmalbaf in order insinuate himself into a family he met by chance. The movie has a rough-hewn, cinema-vérité quality, the better to dig into a complex set of questions about the nature of acting and directing. How complex? The cast -- from the cops to the judges to the impersonator to, hilariously, the real Makhmalbaf, who is amused by the whole affair -- play themselves in a fiction written by Kiarostami based on the facts of the case. The family accuses the impersonator of fraud, while Hossein convincingly insists that he acted out of pure love of cinema. In the end, Close-Up is a fascinating depiction of the lengths to which someone will go in the service of a truly passionate vision of art. The DVD includes a ten-minute interview with the director, who surprisingly reveals that it's the only one of his films he really likes.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/2010
UPC:
0715515060318
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
11,758

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Scene Index

Audio commentary by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum, authors of Abbas Kiarostami; The traveler, director abbas Kiarostami's first feature; "Close-Up" Long Shot, a documentary on close-up's central figure, Hossein Sabzian, six years after the film; New video interview with Kiarostami; A walk with Kiarostami, a documentary portrait of the director by Iranian film professor Jamsheed Akrami

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Close-up 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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