Class Seven: Close Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990, Iran)

More from Kiarostami

Should you decide to write on it, the good news is that Abbas Kiarostami’s Close Up is available on Kanopy. Remember to set up proxy access via the UWinnipeg library.  All of Kiarostami’s other films are worth watching and I particularly recommend Taste of Cherry, which won the Palme d’or at Cannes in 1997 and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999).

Thinking about Kiarostami’s relationship with The House is Black, I was reminded of this great short film he made, Two Solutions for One Problem (1975), that, in some way perhaps, picks up on the schoolroom scenes of the earlier film.

On Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Want to share Sabzian’s love for the cinema of Mohsen Makhmalbaf? DVDs of his work are out there if you want to track them down. The Cyclist (1989) and Marriage of the Blessed (1988) are both mentioned in Close Up and both superb.

On Kiarostami

Sadly, Kiarostami died in July of 2016. Obituaries in the Guardian and the New York Times communicate not only how important he was as a filmmaker but also how beloved he was in the international filmmaking community.

Any search will turn up the extensive scholarly writing on Kiarostami. My favorite book on his work remains this one by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa. It’s short, but I love this appreciation of Close Up by Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari.

If you want to learn more about Iranian film more generally, Hamid Dabashi’s Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future  is a great resource as is Hamid Naficy’s four-volume A Social History of Iranian Cinema. But, in many ways, my favorite book on Iranian cinema is Negar Mottahedeh’s Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema.

Finally, as a bonus, here’s the bit from Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film on Abbas Kiarostami.


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