Pretending to be Mohsen Makhmalbaf making his next movie, Hossain Sabzian enters the home of a well-to-do family in Tehran, promising it a prominent part in his next movie. The actual ... See full summary »
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »
Sylvie Van den Elsen
The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless, violent, almost botched murder is followed by a cold, ... See full summary »
Pretending to be Mohsen Makhmalbaf making his next movie, Hossain Sabzian enters the home of a well-to-do family in Tehran, promising it a prominent part in his next movie. The actual people involved in the incident re-enact the actual events, followed by the footage from the actual trial that took place. Written by
Sam Tabibnia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Almost reminiscent of an old Errol Morris documentary in its very muted sense of ridiculousness, Kiarostami's "Close-Up" deserves an "A" for originality alone. It's the true story of a man who leads a prosperous family to believe that he is Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of Iran's most revered film directors, and tells them that he wants to use them and their house in his next film. What at first appears to be an elaborate con is really nothing more than a desperate, harmless deception by a man who never amounted to anything in life and who for once feels like he's someone important.
What sets the film apart is that Kiarostami constructs the entire incident using everyone involved: from the "fake Makhmalbaf" to the family he tricked to the judge at the trial and even Makhmalbaf himself and then the incident is recreated in Kiarostami's usual banal, documentary-style fashion. In the end "Close-Up" is concerned with its director's (and Iran cinema in general's) examination of the nature of cinematic "reality" but it also a deeply felt portrait of loneliness, despair and need, and a much greater film for it. Melancholy and joyous, a miniature masterpiece.
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