Closed Curtain (2014)
Critic Consensus: Ambitious and exquisitely crafted, Jafar Panahi's semi-nonfiction tale is a powerful, imaginative portrait of an artist's despair.
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as Jafar Panahi
as The Girl (Melika)
as Girl's Brother
as Girl's Sister
as Agha Olia
as Younger Brother
as Zeynab Kanoum
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Critic Reviews for Closed Curtain
The Kafkaesque story itself proves more engaging while the narrative illusion is sustained than it does when Panahi's imposed, solipsistic self-regard shatters it.
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.
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.
Less satisfying than his previous pic, yet still a bold, melancholy statement.
A complex film-within-a-film structure uses the favorite techniques of reflexive Iranian cinema to assert the need to recount reality.
Audience Reviews for Closed Curtain
"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.
'Closed Curtain'. A screenplay so darn good I'm still smiling ear to ear. Personal, existential genius by Panahi!
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.
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