"Close-Up" Is Released
Close-Up (1990) is a film directed by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.
The film tells the story of the real-life trial of a man who impersonated film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, conning a family into believing they would star in his new film. It features the people involved, acting as themselves. The dialogue is in Persian and the untranslated title is Nema-ye Nazdik. A film about human identity, it helped to increase recognition of Kiarostami in the West.
The film is set around the 1990 Iran earthquake.
Nanni Moretti's short film Opening Day of Close-Up follows a theater owner as he prepares to show Kiarostami's film at his independent cinema.
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. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide