“A frustrated young film-buff, who had been posing as Mohsen Makhmalbaf, gets arrested”.
These headlines in Tehran daily papers was coupled with the following story: “The accused passing himself off as the celebrated film director, entered the life of a well-to-do family with the ostensible intention of wanting to make a film with their participation. All this has apparently been an excuse for exploring the family house and planning for burglary which was forestalled with the man’s arrest.”
The news provided Kiarostami with the basic idea for a semi-documentary film entitled “Close-up”. Kiarostami visited the accused in prison, contacted people at the judiciary department and obtained permission to shoot the court proceedings. He set up two cameras at the court: one with wide-angle lens to record the trial, and the other one with a close-up lens to probe into the psychological truth of the case.
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30. Since then he has made many movies and has become one of the most important figures in contemporary Iranian film. He is also a major figure in the arts world, and has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his photography, short films and poetry. He is an iconic figure for what he has done, and he has achieved it all by believing in the arts and the creativity of his mind. —World Cinema Foundation
Of course a film about a man going to great lengths to imitate a filmmaker that he has never met would be one of the most convincing faux-documentaries ever made.
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