Like Someone In Love
Cert: 12A Year: 2012 Length: 109 mins Language: Japanese
Cinema Handout (PDF 100KB)
Score: 64.86% Attendance: 93
Director Abbas Kiarostami was brought up and started his film career in Iran, remaining for many years after the Ayatollah made filming almost impossible; many of his films were simply banned (‘I think they don't understand my films and so prevent them being shown just in case there is a message they don't want to get out’). He learnt to use tight formal control and to make his films more and more subtle and has continued in this way until he is now one of the world masters (’Taste of Cherry’, 1997). He has now made two fictional films entirely outside Iran - ‘Certified Copy’ (which we showed in Spring 2011) in Italy, and now this one, in Japan, which was nominated for the Palme D’Or at Cannes.
The film follows Akiko, a lovely student in Tokyo who has been forced by poverty to pay her way by prostitution. At the start of the film she is sent to a client in the suburbs. But when she arrives, the client turns out to be a very old man, Takashi, who is more interested in love than sex. Her relationship with him and her boyfriend, Noriaki, are then what the film is about, with no relationship being what it seems for long.
Kiarostami uses confined spaces, such as car journeys, to isolate his characters and show either ‘the impossibility of intimacy in the modern world’ (according to Robbie Collin in the Telegraph) or ’a world in which people shut themselves off to genuine interaction’- (Andrew Shenker, Little White Lies). Likewise his endings cause some debate - ‘The sign-off to his masterpiece ‘Taste of Cherry’ is still something to be pondered. But his latest movie...really is bafflingly and even exasperatingly truncated’ - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian, whilst Steven Boon (Chicago Sun-Times) thinks ‘The way this film ends is perfect’. A master at work, then, on a work we can discuss for a long time to come.
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