In New York City this weekend and looking for something interesting to do?
Groundbreaking Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami will be in town on Saturday, October 6, screening his 1990 film “Close-Up” at the Modern School of Film at 2 p.m..Afterwards, he’ll be discussing the film.
Close-Up (1990), narrates the story of the real-life trial of a man who impersonated film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, conning a family into believing they would star in his new film. The family suspects theft as the motive for this charade, but the impersonator, Hossein Sabzian, argues that his motives were more complex. The part documentary, part staged film examines Sabzian’s moral justification for usurping Makhmalbaf’s identity, questioning his ability to sense his cultural and artistic flair. Close-Up received praise from directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Jean-Luc Godard, and Nanni Moretti and was released across Europe.
Kiarostami was one of the few directors who remained in Iran after the 1979 revolution, when many of his colleagues fled to the west, and he believes that it was one of the most important decisions of his career. He has stated that his permanent base in Iran and his national identity have consolidated his ability as a filmmaker:
When you take a tree that is rooted in the ground, and transfer it from one place to another, the tree will no longer bear fruit. And if it does, the fruit will not be as good as it was in its original place. This is a rule of nature. I think if I had left my country, I would be the same as the tree.-Abbas Kiarostami