Ep. 43: Close-Up & The Movies That Made Us


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On today's show, Lady P is joined by CriterionCast contributor, David Blakeslee, and Professor of Islamic History at Penn University/ Film Blogger, Paul M. Cobb to talk Abbas Kiarostami's 1990 film, Close-Up. The Sight and Sound Critic's Poll is littered with works that are about film and/or making films (see 8 1/2, Les Mepris, Sunset Blvd, etc.) It's no wonder then that Close-Up, a film about an impassioned movie enthusiast who cons a family into believing he's a famous director, found its way into the 43rd spot on the Critic's Poll. However, the main draw of Close-Up isn't necessarily it's subject matter, but the way that the subject matter is presented. The film uses elements of both documentary and narrative film-making to deconstruct the artifice of the medium, leaving the audience to question which parts of the film actually happened and which parts were exaggerations or even inventions of the filmmaker. It's always important, when watching a movie, to think about how the filmmakers have shaped the a story, especially when a film goes around calling itself a "documentary". But did our panel actually enjoy Kiarostami's exploration of cinematic manipulation? Listen up to find out.

After Close-Up, the panelists turn the lenses on themselves to reveal "The Films That Made Them". They talk about which movies from their childhoods left the greatest impressions, plus which films inspired them to start writing/blogging/podcasting about movies. (Shout-out to Joshua Wilson for inspiring the topic.)

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