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Close-Up film image

In the non-fiction narrative feature Close-Up (1989), Sabzian, an illiterate film buff who passed himself off as the Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf plays himself in reconstructions of his fraud… His trial is genuine documentary footage, and then Kiarostami films him meeting the real Mahkmalbaf for the first time, an encounter that may be real and scripted at the same time.

Although Kiarostami’s realism is not overtly political and certainly not polemical, the culture clash between educated, relatively wealthy Tehranians and the country’s impoverished majority is an abiding interest. During Sabzian’s trial (shot in verite style) he claims his fraud was not malicious, that he was in some sense delusional. All the principal characters ’play’ themselves in this fascinating self-reflexive master work.

Ranked at #17 in the Sight & Sound critics’ poll, Close-Up was voted = 9th in the directors’ poll.

Sunday’s screening in our PANTHEON series will feature free refreshments and a short introduction by an expert in the field.

The film is driven both by deep, unsentimental compassion and by genuine philosophical curiosity; it explores the fraught relationships between truth and falsehood, film and ’reality’, intention and action, and acknowledges, from start to finish, the role and responsibility of the director in his engagement with the people in his film.

Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

The greatest documentary about filmmaking I have ever seen.

Werner Herzog

Director

Abbas Kiarostami

Cast

Hossein Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abolfazl Ahankhah

Credits
Country of Origin

Iran

Year

1990

Language

In Persian with English subtitles

19+
89 min

Book Tickets

Sunday November 19

11:00 am
Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Book Now

Credits

Producer

Ali Reza Zarrin

Screenwriter

Abbas Kiarostami

Cinematography

Ali Reza Zarrindast

Editor

Abbas Kiarostami

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