Close-Up

98 mins.
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
NR
Persian and Azerbaijani with subtitles
1990
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Brand new 2K restoration from Janus Films and MK2.

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.


Shown with short ORDERLY OR DISORDERLY (dir. Abbas Kiarostami, 1981, 17 minutes).

This short film’s first shot shows students descending a staircase in calm, orderly fashion, then its second details the same action as a chaotic rush. Separated by slates and Kiarostami’s voice intoning, “Sound, camera,” subsequent sequences describe the same dichotomous behavior in a schoolyard, on a school bus, and in the haphazard traffic of Tehran. Kiarostami described this as “a truly educational film,” but it plays more like a quirky philosophic aside.