“Like Someone in Love” is a film by Abbas Kiarostami, the world-renowned Iranian filmmaker who has made a number of groundbreaking films, including “The Wind Will Carry Us”.
I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the filmmaker’s most recent picture, which uses all Japanese actors; and is in Japanese with English subtitles.
This is a beautiful film.
It is a simple story that turns into an emotional roller coaster during an elderly retired college professor’s dinner with an escort. His friends set the scene with the dinner; however their plan is foiled up when the young escort, Akiko, instead of entertaining the old man, falls asleep.
Takashi, an older professor who is played by Tadashi Okuno, 81, by nature is grandfatherly and tries to help Akiko, played by Rin Takanashi, along in her life as he drives her to classes.
When Akiko heads to school, her professor says he will wait for her because he as nothing to do, however the plot thickens when her boyfriend Noriaki, played by Ryo Kase, gets in the car, thinking the professor is the young girl’s grandfather.
The old man plays along again and again, one lie after another, putting himself in the middle of Akiko and her crazy boyfriend.
Okuno’s subtle acting-style along with Kiarostami’s simple writing still creates such a mess, drawing the audience into the emotions of the old man.
Keiko and the boyfriend move the story along while the professor remains the focus.
Kiarostami is truly an international filmmaker, not of design, but by politics and Iranian government that no longer enables him to make pictures from his home in Tehran, Iran.
Thanks to Martin Karmitz, one of the producers, the film was only made after he sold one of his most cherished Yves Klein sponge sculpture auction for the proper funding.
A retrospective of Kiarostami’s work, such as like “Certified Copy” and “Close Up”, will screen at the Film Society of Lincoln Center from February 8th through the 17th.