In the name of Allah…
We enter the courtroom of the world.
To be judged on our veracity.
But also to be judged for our passion.
Hossain Sabzian had passion.
And his story is so similar to mine.
Maybe you feel it too?
Dear cinema friend.
Because I will have to invent a new category for this movie.
Woody Guthrie woe.
Hossain Sabzian plays himself in this story.
It is the truth.
At least as truthful as the novels of Henry Miller.
کلوزآپ ، نمای نزدیک
The world is under the microscope.
How would Debord start his bible about the spectacle?
With that quote from Feuerbach.
A preface as preface.
From Das Wesen des Christentums.
It deserves to be repeated in its entirety.
“But certainly for THE PRESENT AGE, which PREFERS THE SIGN to the thing signified, the COPY to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence…ILLUSION ONLY IS SACRED, TRUTH PROFANE. Nay, sacredness is be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that [*] the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. [*]”
Those are my notes.
I could autograph it for you.
But the words are by Ludwig Feuerbach.
Having gone through translation from German to English by Donald Nicholson-Smith.
I haven’t even named the film yet.
Or the director.
Rather, I haven’t named the film in English.
Substance has been subjected to style.
Style has no translation.
By Abbas Kiarostami.
One of the few geniuses in the world.
You will find on my site the review for طعم گيلاس
Taste of Cherry.
I thought that surely no film by this auteur could top that, but I was wrong.
The depth of Close-Up completely defies what I thought was possible with cinema.
It is a shock.
I am at a loss for words regarding how much this film affected me.
It is as beautiful as a bus stop.
As poor as a paper bag.
The roses from the leaf pile are a good start.
All over the world.
We play “kick the can”.
Don’t ever let people lie to you about Iran.
What is the truth?
The truth is that there is a genius there who speaks directly to my heart…like no other.
That genius is Abbas Kiarostami.
But we must mention Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
He is perfect.
It is unbelievable.
Do you know how I would feel to meet Jean-Luc Godard?
Hossain Sabzian knows.
To meet the person who gave us hope…who depicted our suffering.
Or the blessed marriage promised long ago.
We, are on the outside looking in.
Farsi mocks us.
With its beauty.
There is a lump in my throat like a piece of coal.
Do we really care about Oriana Fallaci?
Or rather Peter Bogdanovich?
Interesting that you should ask.
At first we see Haj Ali Reza Ahmadi annoyed, but later we see him as remarkably humane.
This is the Iranian legal system.
We are told it is a civil law system.
In the name of Allah.
How does a country produce such beauty?
Everyone wants to be on TV.
It must be difficult to read my writing.
Who cares if you listen?
Now that IS a quote (or misquote).
My beloved concision.
Fighting my windbag tendencies.
It is supposed to be funny.
Like Mauricio Kagel. Or Francis Poulenc. Or Conlon Nancarrow.
Must I mention Satie?
Yes, I must.
In the name of Hossain Sabzian.
Making the job of the DGSE almost impossible.
Ever since the Place de la Contrescarpe.
Les moineaux? Chez Moineaux?
Like the glorious Kiarostami.
But he left us this document.
And he lives at the young age of 75.
Yet, the Situationist is Hossain Sabzian.
Like Arthur Cravan.
But more like Erik Satie.
Life is hard.
Is it like Film International?
Or like Massoud Mehrabi?
I don’t know.
But I know someone was on the same page mentally.
Because F for Fake (my second most favorite film of all time).
That is the language of cinephiles.
We’ve lost the sound.
Fifteen years ago.