A good month for Iranian cinema in New York. Not only is Jafar Panahi’s superlative Offside opening here in the beginning of March, but also thanks to the Museum of Modern Art, Abbas Kiarostami will be honored with a major retrospective, Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker. Running from March 1 to May 26, the series will encompass the director and artist’s films, photography, and installations. In total, thirty-three of his films, including shorts and features, will be shown, among them, the umissable Through the Olive Trees, Taste of Cherry, Ten and, of course, The Wind Will Carry Us.
And there will always be a special place in our hearts for Close-Up, one of the best films of the past twenty years and maybe my all-time favorite fiction-documentary hybrid. If you haven’t yet experienced this formally dazzling, utterly humane work of art, which uses the true tale of a man who claimed to be filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf as a springboard to get into all sorts of ethical, spiritual, and (duh, it’s Kiarostami) meta-cinematic debates, then don’t forego the Monday March 5 and Thursday March 15 screenings. The Number 23 can wait another day.