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Close-Up (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (2010)

Mohsen Makhmalbaf , Hossain Sabzian , Abbas Kiarostami  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Hossain Sabzian, Abolfazl Ahankhah, Mehrdad Ahankhah, Monoochehr Ahankhah
  • Directors: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Writers: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Producers: Ali Reza Zarrin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003E0YU04
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,783 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Close-Up (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • The Traveler, a notable early feature by director Abbas Kiarostami
  • "Close-up" Long Shot, a forty-five-minute documentary on Hossein Sabzian
  • A Walk with Kiarostami (2003), a thirty-two minute documentary on the director
  • New video interview with Kiarostami
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Godfrey Cheshire

  • Editorial Reviews

    Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, Ten) has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and CLOSE-UP is his most radical, brilliant work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event--the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated 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 continues to resonate with viewers around the world.

    Customer Reviews

    3.8 out of 5 stars
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Assumed identity . . . March 27, 2010
    Shot in 40 days, using courtroom footage and reenactments with people playing themselves, this "new wave" film by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is an absorbing journey into the nature of identity. What does an ordinary man become when he is assumed to be someone famous? The answer can be poignant, as it is in this film, and surprisingly complex.

    Moved by director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's film "The Cyclist," a divorced and unemployed printer's assistant pretends for a moment to a fellow bus passenger that he is the director himself. Suddenly becoming the object of respect and admiration, he allows himself to be drawn into a ruse involving an entire family, who believe that he wants to make a movie about them.

    Legally, he admits in court, he is guilty of fraud. But morally, he argues, he has not done and never intended any harm. He has the heart and soul of an artist, which the limited circumstances of his life have never permitted him to be. Respected and admired, taken seriously maybe for the first time in his life, he is lifted out of his suffering. How this is all played out before the cameras makes for a fascinating study of art, imagination, and self. This film is both wise and touching and a worthy addition to the Criterion collection.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good June 21, 2012
    Although this film was made almost two decades ago, there is an odd feeling one gets while watching Sabzuian, for he looks very much like Iran's current wacko President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, although he is antipodal from that man in nature and demeanor. Not that this was apparent at the time, wgen Sabzian had his moment in the sun, and the President was a nobody, but it emphasizes just how human a character Sabzian is. Sabzian, incidentally, is easily the best 'actor' in the film; the others (especially the rich family members, seem amateurs, which adds to the 'realism' as well as highlighting the dissonance between the real and near real. Closeup occupies an odd spot in a pantheon of films that includes the whole of Michael Moore's quasi-documentaries, as well as Orson Welles' brilliant F For Fake. Yet, this film feels 'realer,' and all the credit must go to Kiarostami for, technically, the film is shot very simply and plainly- no fancy shots nor editing by cinematographer Ali Reza Zarrin-Dast. Just the facts, and its what Kiarostami includes and excludes that makes this film, rather than breaks it. And, in a case of what may be 'poetic justice,' the film worshipping Sabzian actually does become the star of his own film- not one he made- as he dreamt of doing, but one which was made about him and his dream's destruction.

    Ultimately, the film plays out like one of those old nested folk dolls within a folk doll, within a folk doll, etc. in that films led to a real life situation which led to another real life experience which led to a film. It is not quite a great film, but far closer to it than one might conceive such a bare bones film, with such a simple premise, could archive. And all the credit for this must go to Kiarostami- a man whose art clearly is a synergy of lesser things.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece September 14, 2013
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I had the great fortune of watching this film in Film School. We really dissected it. It's a brilliant piece of hybrid documentary/fiction filmmaking.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! -- must watch more than once... April 1, 2013
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    And this edition from the Criterion Collection is exceptionally good with restored footage, descriptive booklet and bonus material including a second film, The Traveler.
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