Closed Curtain

2013 [PERSIAN]


IMDb Rating 6.5 10 1185

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 17, 2021 at 12:58 AM



973.92 MB
per 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 2 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JvH48 6 / 10

Regardless of the compelling first ¾ hours, I was a bit disappointed about the remainder

I saw this film at the Berlinale 2013 film festival, as part of the official Competition section. In October 2011 I saw a predecessor "This Is Not A Film" in the Ghent film festival 2011, made by the same film maker under very constraining circumstances, among which a pending 6 years prison sentence, plus a 20 years ban on making films. In spite of some reviewers who found that one a bit boring, I was positively surprised that someone was able to make a compelling film within the confines of a single apartment. Nothing much happened but still enough to maintain my attention span, and more importantly forced me to think about judicial systems in some countries where I don't really want to live.

Given that, I may have expected too much and must admit my disappointment in "Closed Curtain". Nevertheless, the first ¾ hour was promising. It pulled you in the story at once, as per the outline in the synopsis on the festival website, in which situation anything can happen.

Our main character had every reason to hide, and particularly the dog he owned. These reasons were very obvious, clearly demonstrated on a TV program where we saw what happened with dogs, being declared contraband by the regime, showing that harsh measures were taken to kill them all.

The intruding couple was hence not very welcome. But he could not send them away either, apparently also on the run like himself. The "brother" half of the couple disappeared after a while, promising to come back soon, and he got stuck with a woman he knew nothing about. She could be a spy or have an otherwise hidden agenda, especially when she started talking about "having made reports about people like you" (but immediately lowered the tension, by stating it was her former job). For what reason she was on the run, did not become clear. Same applies to her "brother" who disappeared shortly after their intrusion.

Suddenly, after an hour, we find ourselves in a frame story, aforementioned two people now becoming just actors in a play. At that moment, I lost track of what the film maker was trying to get across. The Berlinale website links to a press conference, where was mentioned that he had trouble writing scripts, which was his reason to hide in the remote villa in an attempt to get some progress. He had good ideas but could not put these on paper. But (as per the press conference) the intention of the frame story was to serve as a vehicle to visualize the screenplay, rather than putting it in words, something he always had trouble with.

As a take away, I heard a notable dialog with a friendly neighbor, who says "There is more to life than work There are other things too." His response: "Yes, but those things are foreign to me." In a nutshell, this speaks volumes about the drive of this film maker, who continues with making films against all odds and defying all constraining circumstances.

All in all, I understand that many of us feel with film makers and other creative people who have to work under conditions unlike in our Western nations. This I see reflected in most other reviews and articles about this film. But still, though I found "This Is Not A Film" surprisingly full of content, contrary to many reviews I've seen at the time, this "Closed Curtain" one left me stuck in the middle, after a compelling ¾ hour that demonstrated very well how people live in a suppressed country. But a script writer with a writer's block as a subject does not appeal enough to fill the rest of the running time. I may have missed an important clue, however. That must be the case, since this film received a Silver Bear award for best script from the 2013 Berlinale International jury.

Reviewed by octopusluke 4 / 10

Panahi returns, more scathing, reflexive and indulgent than ever

Directed alongside fellow Iranian and the criminally underrated filmmaker Kambuzia Partovi, Panahi's latest manifests the same vehemence for the tyrannical Iranian government as in last year's deconstructionist documentary This Is Not A Film. His first full length feature film since 2006′s brilliant Offside, Closed Curtain is a more aggressively political comment on the creative restrictions he has bestowed on him, and his unrelenting perseverance to conquer them.

With the Iranian government banning citizens from owning dogs as domestic pets (harrowingly, a true sanction), an unnamed screen-writer (played expertly here by co-director Partovi) flees to a remote beachside villa with his furry best friend, a beautiful little dog called 'Boy'. In constant fear that he will be caught – with the dog left for dead – the erratic scribe quite literally shuns the outside world, barricading the doors and blacking out the windows. Stuck in their new, isolated sanctuary, the man and dog are paid an unexpected visit by two young Iranians (Maryam Moqadam and Hadi Saeedi). Like our hero, they too are on the run from corrupt state officials.

Forty-five minutes in, the austere, naturalistic situation is dispelled by an indulgent second half with many increasingly odd moments. These include the visionary's quintessential reflexive streams of consciousness moments; a break in the fourth wall with Panahi's jarring on-screen presence; and a discombobulating critique on the very unorthodox nature of filmmaking and hiding from the reality that lies beyond the camera lens. Some of these moments are unnerving in all the right, satirical ways, whereas some of these 'experiments' are so dispiritingly chaotic that one would think they were coming from filmmakers of far younger vintage.

In one particularly seething encounter, a friend of Panahi's suggests to the on-screen director that there is more to life than work; to which the candid director suggests that all other things are 'foreign' to him. After countless censorship cases and one two year long house arrest, it's perhaps unsurprising that Jafar Panahi is so entrenched in – and haunted by – his nefarious creations that he has become removed to the life outside. Stuck on a critical parapet, Closed Curtain takes a panoptic glance at silenced Iranian society, without ever feeling like he is gallantly speaking for it as he has done previously with Crimson Tide and The Circle. The result means that this clunky social commentary feels like it can only resonate in an audience of a similar distance – that of a Scandinavian film festival, perhaps – rather than the homegrown audience he has become the audacious patron of.

Despite an endearing first half, the drama wallows for too long in opaque political allegories and slight-of-hand trickery. Considering the limitations and policing these filmmakers encounter on a daily basis, it seems churlish to quarrel about the film's production values. Even still, it must be noted that Closed Curtain has some of the most horrendous sound recording and mixing I've witnessed in recent memory.

Forgetting these flaws, there is one half of an exceptional, poetic drama hiding behind the curtain here. An alienated chamber piece, Panahi and Partovi highlight the grave situation facing artists and freedom of expression in an otherwise oppressive Iranian regime. For, as long as they continue to fight the system from within and make films, I am happy to watch and recommend them.

Reviewed by Radu_A 9 / 10

unique masterpiece of self-reflection

When the world's most famous banned-from-work film-maker manages to defy the authorities which imposed the ban, and for the second time in the row, one cannot help but admire so much courage and the film in question automatically becomes an event. Unlike his previous documentary/essay 'This is not a film', which was smuggled out of Iran on a USB stick inside a cake, 'Pardé' lists actor/screenwriter Kambozia Partovi as co-director, so technically, Panahi didn't violate the ban; Partovi was, not surprisingly, awarded the Silver Bear for best screenplay.

Naturally there was a lot of anticipation at the Berlinale regarding 'Pardé', and just as naturally quite a few critics were disappointed with the result, which they described as being too cryptic. However, if you know Panahi's works, it will come as no surprise to you that 'Pardé' contains many symbols and metaphors which require much thinking, elaboration, and may be interpreted in contradicting, yet equally relevant ways.

As for the story: an elderly man arrives at a seaside villa and immediately proceeds to cover the windows with black cloth, so that no light can be seen from outside. He then releases a cute little dog from his sports bag... why did he keep it there? I'd humbly ask future reviewers from abstaining to describe the story much further, for this is one of those films which can only be enjoyed when you do not know too much about them.

'Pardé', filmed within three days, is a marvel of psychological film making and easily the most personal film Panahi has ever done. The only film I remember in which a film-maker conveys so much of his interior to the spectator would be Polanski's 'Le Locataire'. Of course, Panahi's film, shot on a shoestring budget inside his own holiday house, cannot compare in terms of visual opulence, but given the modest means at his disposal, it manages to share a surprisingly vast scope of ideas and emotions - if you are familiar with his situation and previous work. If you are not, there's a good chance that you will find this film too opaque.

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