The Poetry of Close-up

Mar 26, 2010

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up, coming to Criterion DVD and Blu-ray disc June 22, returns to the big screen this week, in a new twentieth-anniversary print courtesy of Janus Films that will play at New York’s Film Forum before making its way to other cities in the United States through July. To coincide with the rerelease, writer Joshua Land has contributed a thoughtful, in-depth essay on Close-up to Moving Image Source titled “Poetic License,” in which he investigates the heritage of Iranian modernist art in relation to the film, which he calls Kiarostami’s greatest and “one of the epochal works of contemporary global cinema.” Land places Close-up in a creative continuum with the works of such groundbreaking Iranian artists as Forugh Farrokhzad and Sadegh Hedayat, and argues for the film not merely as an experiment in combining fiction and documentary forms but as a work of true poetry, one that emotionally questions the boundaries of our everyday experience.