Close-Up | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Much acclaimed in France for its fascinating take on the cinematic apparatus, this masterpiece from Iran by the highly talented Abbas Kiarostami (And Life Goes On...) combines fiction with nonfiction in novel and provocative ways. It starts with the real-life trial in Tehran of an unemployed film buff who impersonated the celebrated filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf (The Peddler, Marriage of the Blessed). His charade included becoming intimate with a well-to-do family while pretending to prepare for a film that was to feature them. To complicate matters, Kiarostami persuaded the major players to reenact what happened, finally bringing the real Makhmalbaf together with his impersonator for a highly emotional exchange. Much comedy is derived from the ways "the cinema" changes and inflects the value and nature of everything taking place--the scam, the trial, Kiarostami's documentary, and so on (1990). (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Sunday, October 18, 4:15, 443-3737)

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