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Closed Curtain (2014)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2

Ambitious and exquisitely crafted, Jafar Panahi's semi-nonfiction tale is a powerful, imaginative portrait of an artist's despair.

93

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 1

Ambitious and exquisitely crafted, Jafar Panahi's semi-nonfiction tale is a powerful, imaginative portrait of an artist's despair.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 320

My Rating

Movie Info

CLOSED CURTAIN, Jafar Panahi's most recent non-film, made in secret, combines documentary and fictitious elements. A screenwriter goes into hiding with his dog after the regime declares dogs "impure" and bans them from walking in public. (This is an actual law.) The man shaves his head, methodically darkens all the windows in his three-story seaside villa (Panahi's beach house), and settles in to write in relative peace with his beloved pet. Unexpectedly, a young man and woman appear, seemingly

Unrated,

Drama

,

$28.1k

Variance Films

Cast

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July 10, 2014:
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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2)

It doesn't carry the impact of some of Panahi's more conventional films. It's not his best movie, but the fact that he's making a movie at all is remarkable.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, Closed Curtain also indicates there's only so much an artist can say about his own oppression before he winds up in a creative cul-de-sac.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Less satisfying than his previous pic, yet still a bold, melancholy statement.

July 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A complex film-within-a-film structure uses the favorite techniques of reflexive Iranian cinema to assert the need to recount reality.

July 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is one of those layered, fairly plotless and enigmatic films that comes into sharper focus as it goes along.

July 18, 2014 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Closed Curtain" is richly allegorical, but the film succeeds even more as an exiled artist's reassurance that the law can't stamp out art.

July 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enigmatic, unresolved (perhaps deliberately) and strangely reminiscent of Bergman, Closed Curtain is not Panahi's strongest work but manages, all the same, to make visible the effects of a tremendous condensed power.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Panahi's stylistic gifts remain on abundant, elegant display, in willful, suspended fury.

July 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity
Newcity

While we respect the message, it feels in the end like a waste of a perfectly good story.

July 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Anoher self-reflexive piece of house-arrest theater that edges more ambitiously into fiction-or at least the blurry line between reality and creative fantasy

July 10, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Repression in Iran emphatically intrudes on imagination, as real life of . . . Panahi. . .The ocean keeps serving as constant ironic contrast to a restricted space and life.

July 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Essentially a psychological self-portrait ...

July 9, 2014 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com

If Closed Curtain seems at times too self-reflexive, it is Panahi's despair which rescues the movie, exquisite in its rendering, and terrifying for its ability to clutch at the soul.

July 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Closed Curtain

'Closed Curtain'. A screenplay so darn good I'm still smiling ear to ear. Personal, existential genius by Panahi!
December 30, 2013
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

"Closed Curtain" starts with a writer(Kambozia Partovi) arriving at a beach house. Hidden in his luggage is a dog which the regime in Iran is taking a very hard line against. That is depicted by some very graphic news footage, so the writer takes the batteries out of the television so the dog will not be traumatized any more. He also puts up curtains all around the house. That however does not stop siblings Reza(Hadi Saeedi) and Melika(Maryam Moghadam) from knocking on his door while on the run from the authorities. So, while Reza looks for a way out, he leaves behind his sister, while warning about her suicidal tendencies.

"Closed Curtain" is proof positive that you can't keep a good man down or a good director from making movies. And it's especially impressive considering what Jafar Panahi has concocted here, a story told on two separate levels of reality, and without an effects shot either.(I mean yes there are sound effects used in order to emulate action just off camera but those don't really count.) That is done in the most playfully meta way possible to show the Iranian authorities and the world at large what kind of movies Panahi could make if only he were allowed. Except that is exactly the kind of movie he has made, with an emphasis on such Iranian taboos as dogs, suicide and unrelated men and women inhabiting the same space. And just remember that it is not showing off if you are this good.
July 20, 2014
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Panahi's follow up to This is Not a Film is more artistic and frankly more rewarding. The turmoil between his head of following his art or following desperation are brought out very effectively. It also features one of the most lovely dogs ever to appear on screen.
September 6, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Parde (DE)
  • Closed Curtain (Parde) (UK)
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