This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
cccarmine’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
journalism mixing with movies mixing with two classes of people.
the gift for finding stories that no one else has. two military mixings. air forces in the ground, ground forces in the air. a lot of exposition in the beginning, but it merges into little lives overshadowed by makhmalbaf and sabzian.
the best story on a dead end. how did he feel when he followed the family here? trapped in a short act?
this is all about taking places. there is no end to taking places, it's not an evil, it's an interchangeable part of being alive. walk over to one town, cross paths, walk back. makhmalbaf loves roses in the dirt. I don't know enough about him, I've only seen four of his movies. but I bet he loved this. I bet this scratched the itch in a way he could never scratch it himself.
an old dignified man pushes an actor out of his scene. and he only ever pays for the taxis! gated enough to have rich. who in a gated house gives tech away for free!
and he's not a con man. he's an actor. an actor reversing the roles, switching places. what does makhmalbaf know of poverty? I don't know. but not what sabzian knows.
there is a fear of being swindled on camera. a fear of vulnerability, of being portrayed in a way outside of your control. families correcting each other. families correcting cameramen. how rich are the wealthy here?
a film about suffering is just about all I've seen from makhmalbaf. but he can't portray everyone. and the people who love the suffering, love the cyclist, love marriage of the blessed, what do they love of the sufferer?
he wears the glasses of a filmmaker. I wonder how many takes the interviews had. the unreality aspect is pressed against explanation. what about the courtroom footage? what about the judge? does makhmalbaf not show his face so he continues to not be widely widely recognized.
unbothered. all in the crowd like they're in church. I am in awe at the innate knowledge of sabzian. his life is interpreted in film, and so his interpretation is always true to life.
for once he had the ability to be obeyed. the way a poor man obeys a rich man. it's exploitation, sure, but did he exploit them? the only way to not be poor isn't to take money, it's to act the part.
does he have a job and does that matter at all? if he can't feed his children, is he bad? does sabzian even have a child? or do the characters in makhmalbaf films have them.
all these rich kids wishing to be in a film. didn't he do that for them? didn't he become subsumed by makhmalbaf? isn't this movie the house of the spider.
bureaucracy is silly everywhere. he already said that! he already confirmed! the man behind him is such a good frame of reference for the emotion of the courtroom. everyone's playing themselves up.
sabzian can't even portray the suffering he has. he acts for the camera but isn't that the expression of his experience. his inner reality has to be acted through makhmalbaf, through the courtroom, through his moment of reflection and exposition for the whole world. only through acting can he be himself. he will never be the useful member of society. he will never be the actor again. how can he be himself.
I don't think sabzian is mentally ill. I don't need to write some long piece on society and how he got here. I hope it felt really good. I hope it felt so fucking good to be makhmalbaf. to meet makhmalbaf. to be an actor in this moment.
I can't believe they got to be two men on a motorcycle.