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Quick-Thoughts: Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up (1990)

Abbas Kiarostami Marathon Part II of VI

This Ali Sabzian dude… he gets it.

The movie that’ll entirely transcend your viewpoint on artistic creation, Close-Up is often considered acclaimed director Abbas Kiarostami’s masterpiece, and while I have yet to finish his filmography, I can already understand why. Unashamed to announce how cinema can burst forth the backbones of society as well as its countless citizens, this is a part raw, part recreated staging that follows a movie enthusiast’s inception and trial for impersonating a famous film director. 

One of the key reasons why Close-Up flourishes compared to the average “based on a true story” account comes with its phenomenal and non-linear structure, as it reveals events and sometimes even already bestowed scenes with new light that reshapes your perspective with irresistible significance. Again, Kiarostami’s unification of real-life recordings and dead-focused cinematography within the reenactments (which still manages to follow the documentary-like vibe of the movie while adjusting seamlessly into the actual footage) are furthermore the groundbreaking pushers that will have most audiences floored and invested throughout its fitting runtime. 

The focusable culprit and main character of Close-Up, Ali Sabzian, I found, coming from an extreme movie fanatic, to be quite astonishing and articulate with his opinions, as well as heart-breakingly relatable. In this docufiction, Sabzian successfully words and encapsulates the many reasons why us cinephiles, and even just art enthusiasts in general, are so obsessed with creation, as it is a boundless method of communicating our experiences in matters that are less vocal and more interpretive. 

So, if we’re counting Close-Up as a legitimate documentary, then this is absolutely my new #1 favorite regarding that genre. This comes recommended to the highest order. 

Verdict: A+

The Amateur’s Favorite Documentaries (Ranked List)

“Close-Up” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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