Close Up (1990)

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Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Cast: Abolfazl Ahankhah, Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf


An out-of-work printshop employee with a passion for books and films passes himself off as the director and author Mohsen Makhmalbaf, so that he gradually inveigles a family into inviting him to their home to rehearse them there for a new film.

The Review

Kiarostami interviews him in prison and films his trial, even intervening to cross-examine on elements of his testimony! The rest is reconstructed for the camera with the actual participants playing themselves (a subtle variation on the theme of Sabzian playing roles); except for a remotely caught meeting (complete with technical hitch on the soundtrack) between the real Makhmalbaf and his impersonator at the end, when the former touchingly drives the released man back to the house - whose occupants at first refuse to open because they only know him as Makhmalbaf!