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(aka 'Nema-ye Nazdik' or 'Close-up')


Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Iran 1990

 

Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and Close-up is his most radical, brilliant work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, Close-up has resonated with viewers around the world.

 

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Theatrical Release: October 30th, 1991

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Comparison:

Facets - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Facets - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Facets - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 519 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:27 1:37:58.914
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,003,024,710 bytes

Feature: 22,009,344,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio Farsi (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio Farsi 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps /
24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English imposed English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Interview with Kiarostami by Jamsheed Akrami 
• Text Filmographies

DVD Release Date: March 19th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,003,024,710 bytes

Feature: 22,009,344,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum, authors of Abbas Kiarostami
The Traveler, director Abbas Kiarostami’s first feature (1:13:25)
• “Close-up” Long Shot, a documentary on Close-up’s central figure, Hossein Sabzian, six years after the film (45 minutes)
• New video interview with Kiarostami (27:27)
• A Walk with Kiarostami (2003), a documentary portrait of the director by Iranian film professor Jamsheed Akrami
• booklet featuring an essay by film critic Godfrey Cheshire

Blu-ray Release Date: June 22nd, 2010

Transparent thick Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 14  

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Addition: Criterion Blu-ray - June 10': Firstly, I had not watched a Kiarostami film for, what seems like, quite a long while - especially Close-up which I regard as a favorite. I now recall the esteem I had for the Facets disc discussing it with enthusiasm in Forums with other like-minded fans back in 2003. But seeing it via Criterion's 1080P Blu-ray rendering - this was like a first viewing. The HD format transfer, Predictably improves on every weakness of the single-layered DVD. Absence of artefacts, significantly stronger detail, colors - flesh tones lose their orange - the lighter scratches have been eliminated in many sequences, grain is more visible. The Facets transfer was interlaced and, judging by the times, may have well been taken from a PAL source - as it is about 4% faster. For the most part the Criterion shows more information in the frame (left and top notable). In the final estimation this is like night and day- I felt like I was actually watching film not a cheap video.

Criterion have given the simple track a lossless treatment via a linear PCM in original mono at 1152 kbps. Of course there is no separation or range but the track is an important boost being both tighter and crisper than the, much weaker, Facets. While the films production is intentionally sparse - taken from both 35mm and 16mm footage - and there is the much discussed dropouts ('old microphones' say the dialogue) at the end. In the commentary it is mentioned by both participants as undetermined whether this was actually intentional. Typical of Kiarostami we only have music as exit music - the tender violins sound tinny but beautifully impacting. Criterion subtitles are optional while the Facet's are imposed. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.

Criterion have included a wonderful audio commentary by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum, authors of Abbas Kiarostami (a book I own and can endorse!). I love hearing Jonathan showing his passion for cinema and the revealing discussions that take place are always enlightening. At one point in the film the Sabzian states `I am the child from The Traveler who is left behind`. Abbas Kiarostami’s 1 hour 15-minutes The Traveler tells the story of a young boy who goes to great lengths to take a bus trip to see his favorite soccer team. Kiarostami has stated he considers this his first authentic feature and Criterion have included it as an HD supplement in its entirety. “Close-up” Long Shot, is a documentary on Close-up’s central figure, Hossein Sabzian, six years after the film. It runs 45 minutes in HD. There is a new video interview with Kiarostami recorded by Criterion in 2009, in Marrakech, running just short of half an hour. It is always a pleasure to hear someone talk with such confidence and awareness. We also get A Walk with Kiarostami, a 2003 documentary portrait of the director by Iranian film professor Jamsheed Akrami during the course of two days at the Galway film festival in Ireland. Included is a fine booklet featuring an essay by film critic Godfrey Cheshire.

I've fallen back in love with Kiarostami`s cinema and am excited to rewatch The Wind Will Carry Us this evening - maybe even Where is the Friend`s Home. This Criterion package is like a gift from heaven for fans of the director and we give it our strongest endorsement. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Facets - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 
Prevalent combing on the Facets!
 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Facets - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 519 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze