It’s a little incorrect to say Abbas Kiarostami only now has another film hitting, for we gave Like Someone in Love a rave review all the way back in May. But only are the rest of us now able to partake in whatever pleasures it affords, and that makes this something of a cinephilic event. While the markings of it are modest — a small theatrical opening and general VOD release coming in a week-and-a-half — it’s with this that we have our first preview in nearly a year.
In some ways, it’s also our first true representation of what’s going on here — with some caveats. Having scoured reactions, I suspect this is playing up Love as a slightly more thriller-oriented story than we’d typically (or, really, ever) expect from Kiarostami — said, too, after reading that there’s an actual jump scare within — though, nevertheless, it’s altogether gorgeous. The imagery is lush and haunting, almost ghostly in some of its reflections — a potential sign of things to come. I can’t wait to find out.
The trailer can be seen below (via Apple):
Fresh from the triumph of his Tuscany-set Certified Copy (NYFF 2010), master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami travels even further afield from his native Iran for this mysteriously beautiful romantic drama filmed entirely in Japan. Like Someone in Love revolves around the brief encounter between an elderly professor (the wonderful 81-year-old stage actor Tadashi Okuno, here playing his first leading role in a film) and a sociology student (Rin Takanashi) who moonlights as a high-end escort. Dispatched to the old man by her boss—one of the professor’s former students—the young woman finds her latest client less interested in sex than in cooking her soup, talking, and playing old Ella Fitzgerald records (like the one that gives the film its allusive title). Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s insanely jealous boyfriend (Ryō Kase); but as usual in Kiarostami, nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Are these characters—who conjure in one another the specters of regret and roads not taken—meeting by chance, or is it fate? Is this love, or merely something like it?
Like Someone in Love will enter limited release and hit VOD on February 15th.
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