“A frustrated young film-buff, who had been posing as Mohsen Makhmalbaf, gets arrested”. The news provided Kiarostami with the basic idea for a semi-documentary film entitled “Close-up”. Two cameras film the trial, of which one with a close-up lens to probe into the psychological truth of the case.
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a genre-busting mix of testimony, documentary, real-life events, & performance. not so much a who-did-it as a why-did-it. posits some pertinent questions about crime & proprietary, the morality of motivation intersecting with the immorality of laws, about art & deception, the yearning for connection & recognition at the heart of the creative life, & builds to an emotional climax of overwhelming power.
In this brilliant film, Kiarostami's intuition and genius is in its best. He had a script and financing and was ready to shoot when he learned about a story in the news. And he decided to give up the script he had and do his film about the story that interested him. The way he did it? He asked the people involved to act as themselves (in the fraud where a man poses as a famous movie director). They accepted!
this film is a fascinating masterpiece. what seems real is utterly fake and what seems fake is perhaps the most real. the characters within characters is fascinating. and the fact that kiarostami gives a documentary feel to something which is mostly staged is perfection. the comments on the idols of cinema in iran and the manner of social positions is also brilliant. this is one of the landmark cinematic works.