Jaime Rebanal’s review published on Letterboxd:
The thoughts of Close-Up from my first viewing were not definite, it was something I knew I had to watch once again. Yet it would never leave me alone for days. Only recently I've come back, and it's something I find myself in love with. Abbas Kiarostami's films aren't the easiest one to talk about for one like myself, but they always raise around the most interesting of discussions, as I find. Close-Up is what I feel is a perfect example of art that crosses beyond what we may be perceiving of it, it's an interesting blend of fiction and the real, there are so many ways one can go ahead and read into what Kiarostami intended with such a film.
We're shown an incident on the camera, it's one involving the impersonation of the film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The people whom we see are real, but the events that we're seeing on the screen, are they real for that matter? It's interesting how Abbas Kiarostami plays around with what the viewer is to make of what they are shown on the screen through its unique blurring between the real and the unreal. It's easy to see how much does Abbas Kiarostami go to question what is unreal within what we view as art, and it's only left Close-Up retaining inside of my memory from that one viewing onward.
Kiarostami practically understands cinema to the degree he just deconstructs how people come to see it in general. There's a sense to which we feel empathy for what we are viewing, yet within Close-Up the feeling of uncertainty just flows all throughout. Considering the fact that what we are watching are reenactments of a crime performed by the actual people themselves as opposed to actors, it's simply astonishing how Kiarostami crafts such a piece - there is no definite answer to what we are viewing.
I don't even know, nor do I think what I've rambled on right here can do justice to describe such an amazing experience that this was, for Close-Up is something I'll be sure never to forget for as long as I'm still alive. And yet, I still come to ponder about art in general, the thoughts clutter my head. Maybe someday I can come back, and I'll get much more of a grasp onto its meaning, and then more comes into my head, it's just about ready to combust.