Closed Curtain
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Closed Curtain
CLOSED CURTAIN, Jafar Panahi's most recent non-film, made in secret, combines documentary and fictitious elements. A screenwriter goes into hiding with his dog after the regime declares dogs "impure" and bans them from walking in public. (This is an actual law.) The man shaves his head, methodically darkens all the windows in his three-story seaside villa (Panahi's beach house), and settles in to write in relative peace with his beloved pet. Unexpectedly, a young man and woman appear, seemingly in a state of fear and confusion, and he is importuned to take them in. A… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"Less satisfying than his previous pic, yet still a bold, melancholy statement."
‑ Jay Weissberg, Variety
"We accuse directors who indulge in metatextual moviemaking of disappearing up their own rear ends. In the case of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, it's a choice between there and prison."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Enigmatic, unresolved (perhaps deliberately) and strangely reminiscent of Bergman, Closed Curtain is not Panahi's strongest work but manages, all the same, to make visible the effects of a tremendous condensed power."
‑ Stuart Klawans, The Nation
"Anoher self-reflexive piece of house-arrest theater that edges more ambitiously into fiction-or at least the blurry line between reality and creative fantasy"
‑ Scott Tobias, The Dissolve
"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."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"A complex film-within-a-film structure uses the favorite techniques of reflexive Iranian cinema to assert the need to recount reality."
‑ Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter
"The value of Closed Curtain is the very ineloquence of its cri de coeur. Where its predecessor defiantly showed that Panahi could take it, here the stresses show: they're tearing him apart, and it shouldn't happen to any artist."
‑ Jonathan Romney, Film Comment Magazine
"Panahi's stylistic gifts remain on abundant, elegant display, in willful, suspended fury."
‑ Ray Pride, Newcity
"Repression in Iran emphatically intrudes on imagination, as real life of . . . Panahi. . .The ocean keeps serving as constant ironic contrast to a restricted space and life."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"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."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"This is one of those layered, fairly plotless and enigmatic films that comes into sharper focus as it goes along."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"Under house arrest,Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi bravely concedes that, at times during his incarceration, he's worn down, tempted to end it all."
‑ Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
"While we respect the message, it feels in the end like a waste of a perfectly good story."
‑ Lee Marshall, Screen International
More reviews for Closed Curtain on Rotten Tomatoes