Episode 56: Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up (1990)

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What happens when cinema becomes an obsession? I explore that question and many more in this episode on Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 genre-blending film, “Close-Up.” It revolves around the true story of Hossein Sabzian, a passionate cinephile who deceives a family by impersonating the director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and is charged with fraud in an Iranian court. All the people involved in the story play themselves in the film, but, at every turn, Kiarostami blends documentary and fiction and raises questions about the nature of truth and the construction of reality. Not only that, this film is an unforgettable portrait of a man willing to sacrifice everything for cinema.

 

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