Close-Up ★★★★★

100/100

Cinema, even within its immaculate bursts of truth, is a realm of masks and modest deceit. The mystical aura of the screen is the equivalent of a magician's assistant, cluttering and distracting the audience from the formation of the tapestry of the entire experience. Close-up, directed by Abbas Kiarostami, is a stirring deconstruction of cinema and its various influences on society and its audience. With natural and affecting "performances", a faultless sense of editing, and a monstrously quintessential view on the power of moving images; Close-up is simply one of the greatest films ever made (maybe even THE greatest) and one of most extraordinary viewing experiences that I've ever had.

For a film to weave fact and fiction so thoroughly isn't just a massive accomplishment in and of itself. It is also a wake-up-call to every avid watcher of film and their private link between the screen and the world they reside in. That space, where the dust floats in the flickering light of the theatre projector, is a formidable specter inside all of us. Our dreams, fears, anxieties, and joys all bask in the light and flourish within this hazy gathering of glorious enchantment.

Close-up takes this feeling, this immeasurable and almost spiritual presence, and decodes its inner workings and mechanisms. Imitation of cinema is taken to the next level. Enhanced, heightened, and enlarged; the frame is viewed as both a wistful means for empathy and a necessary character, simultaneously involving and addressing the audience. It's as if you were driving a car and instead of choosing a path in the fork in the road, you were able to transverse through both realities, watching your other self as they carry on. Feeling your existence. Watching. Observing. Waiting for the roads to intersect again.

I remember sitting in an empty theatre one day, and although I've been alone in theatre auditoriums on multiple occasions, the aching realization that I was observing a ghostly experience continued to send shivers down my spine. Since the dawn of the cinema, we've seen people who we care about, romances which we are involved in, shootouts in which danger is felt, and moments of extraordinary pain and beauty. It is in the cinema where the world comes alive, indelibly projecting our inner feelings into a piece of art, and from there, the memory remains. Those characters float within the confines of our hearts, and although the magic act may end, we stumble out into the night anew.

Affected.

Awakened.

Changed.

This film is a part of me.