The work and obsessions of director Nanni Moretti when the Iranian movie "Close Up" is scheduled to open in the movie theater he owns in Rome. Attention to details and above all a great love for cinema at its best.
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A micro-manager as movie theater owner. Nanni starts his day getting last night's gross ticket sales, city by city, for "The Lion King." Then he's on the phone to a newspaper advertising office. That evening, the Iranian film "Nema-ye Nazdik" ("Close-Up") opens at his theater. He heads for the theater where he coaches staff on minute details, including telling the projectionist to raise the image just a bit - not enough, he says, to even notice. He role-plays with his ticket seller. That night, after going to bed, he rouses himself to call for that night's ticket sales for his and other theaters. No rest for the restless. Written by
An interesting look at the reality of modern cinema
The owner of a small cinema in Italy is going through the figures for the most recent blockbusters in his town and is irritated to see that the advertising space for the new Iranian film showing at his cinema (Close-Up) is significantly smaller than that of American films. He tries to promote the smaller works at every chance he gets but will it ever be able to compete with the Lion king?
I wasn't sure what this film was about as I listen to the words 'The Lion King' followed by a number said over and over again but gradually I got the point and, while it was hardly a good film, it certainly makes a very simple point in a very simple way. The point is how can cinema generally compete with the advertising campaigns and popularity of American blockbusters. It is a very European point to make but it is one that I, if I drop the 'American', can agree with. How many times have we all said 'I wish more people would see this' but accept that it is a small film (or my bugbear a short film) that few other will ever come across far yet be bothered by. We can see it on this site people will post about a blockbuster and everyone will have seen it, but make a post about an award winning foreign film or even some classics and you'll get few replies.
Of course this is the way of the world and it is unfair to complain that people watch what they want to watch but it is still a point worth making. Wisely Moretti avoids having a rant but merely lets the numbers speak for themselves over the fade to black; his only weakness is that he overeggs how good this film is where really he could have accepted in his film that Close-Up is as good as the blockbusters and deserves the same chance, rather than making it out to be better than those films. As a director I must say that the film was given a very TV feel by Moretti and it looked a bit cheap; I'm not sure if his films have this look as well but it didn't impress me one bit.
Overall this is an interesting short that makes a good point without overdoing it too much. It is a very European film and I'm sure many will miss the point or just disagree with it altogether (so what if I like action movies over an Iranian art movie?) but it is a fair point. Not a great short film but OK the simple point and the cheap look of the short put me off a bit, but it was worth me seeing it once.
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