Part of Abbas Kiarostami: A Retrospective.
Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past 30 years, and CLOSE-UP is his most radical, brilliant work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, CLOSE-UP has resonated with viewers around the world.
“Call it what you will (documentary, mockumentary, self-fulfilling prophecy), CLOSE-UP is still the definitive film-on-film commentary.” —Ed Gonzalez, Slant “CLOSE-UP was a landmark film in Iranian cinema, because it broke away from the gentle neo-realism that had previously been the hallmark of Iranian films, and subsequently reached a wider international audience on the festival circuit. It remains a bracing piece of work even now….” —Noel Murray, A.V. Club “An exercise in film theory… So many of Kiarostami’s films—CLOSE-UP being the definitive one—don’t care about the line between documentary and fiction because, in the grand sense, he doesn’t see one.” —Josh Larsen, larsenonfilm.com “The ironic politics of Kiarostami’s audacious method blend the intellectual impulse of documentary observation and the emotional need for self-dramatization…his calmly unwavering images, with their wry humor and generous sympathy, have the force of a steadfast resistance.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker
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