Closed Curtain opens with a five-minute-long view through the security grate of Panahi's beach house, as a cab pulls up down by the Caspian beach and slowly disgorges a writer (Kambuzia Partovi). Once inside, he releases the dog he had secreted in his duffel bag — and the reality dawns that he is in hiding, as much for himself as for his dog, whom he had saved from the Islamic Republic's newly ramped-up campaign against "unclean" pets. The writer immediately closes the curtains and blacks out every window with cloth, and we have the acute sense that from here on in, everything concrete will be metaphoric, and vice versa.
Trapped with the protagonist in these rather lavish digs, we're perhaps less surprised than he is to be accosted by a 20-something brother and sister (Hadi Saeedi and Maryam Moghadam) invading the house after running, so they say, from the police. Eventually, Panahi appears as well, and the film slips between the movie we're watching, its production, and multiple movies within the movie, coming off as imagined scenarios that can be swiped and reconceptualized. And that's moviemaking, isn't it?