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Like Someone in Love (2012)


J.A.A. Purves
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  • 10 months later...

Jeffrey Wells didn't care for Certified Copy, but he *really* likes this film, FWIW.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I couldn't stop thinking about this for about a week after I saw it at VIFF, but haven't thought about it much since (whereas I tend to think about Certified Copy every day, almost). I think that has more to do with how knowing the ending will likely change my second viewing, and I'm not sure there's much use in giving it more thought until I've had that opportunity.

M. Leary once made a comment in the CC thread that described Kiarostami's body of work as one consumed with observing people as "histories of love," and where Someone got ahold of me on first viewing, it did so through this particular approach. Besides that, I'm a bit puzzled at how closely some reviews try to link this and CC on a surface level, or try to shoehorn the two of them together as part of a running theme developing in Kiarasotami's "outside Iran" phase. Seems a bit early, yet. In any event, I can't wait to see it again.

On a quick IMDB and Google search, though, it doesn't seem to have Canadian distribution. Peter, have you heard anything about a local release?

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Nathan Douglas wrote:

: On a quick IMDB and Google search, though, it doesn't seem to have Canadian distribution. Peter, have you heard anything about a local release?

Don't think so, no. I just scanned my Gmail archives and found nothing but a few e-mails around the time of VIFF, and a few that refer to the current American release.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Darrel, I was a little surprised at your review in that your early comment ('it was not my favorite...") got me expecting a more critical review.

Not that I thought this was effusive, but I found it more descriptive than evaluative. I had a hard time getting a sense of whether or not you liked or esteemed the film. Were you deliberately neutral in this review or is that just part of the overall HJ aesthetic?

Full disclosure: I mildly enjoyed the film. It didn't knock my socks off, but I liked it more than I expected to, though I found myself more interested in scene composition and particular shots than in the people inhabiting the film (which is usually not a good sign for me).

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I generally strive to be fairly neutral, unless a film flat out pisses me off. This was a review that I struggled for some time to write. It wasn't that I disliked the film, I just couldn't get myself to care.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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LA Times story: "The films that Abbas Kiarostami Carries Inside"

Kiarostami's travels abroad seem to have deepened his sense of mystery, with both "Certified Copy" and "Like Someone in Love" exploring role-play in everyday life, as well as pushing further his elliptical sense of narrative. In "Like Someone in Love" in particular, Kiarostami seems to have moved beyond more conventional storytelling into something richer, providing a sense that the story continues even as the film concludes.

"My way of expression is full of complications and mystery because that's my perception of life," he said. "I've always said that my only inspiration in my films is taken from life. And as life is full of mystery, there is no other way I can represent life than in mysterious films. It's just my way of being."

Kiarostami acknowledges the specificity of his situation, that he is still able to live in Iran but leave the country to make his films, though he stops short of declaring himself an artistic exile from his homeland.

"I hope every day I'll be able to shoot my next film in Iran, in conditions that would be just a bit better than they are right now, in my own language and on the land on which I live," he said. "But if the situation remains as difficult as it's been recently and as it is now, I'll have to again go abroad."

"What is inside is also outside." -Goethe via Merleau-Ponty, in conclusion to the latter's one extended rumination on film
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I am going to pull a Darren and read nothing. I am sorely tempted, but am looking forward to a bit of a tabula rasa here.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I am going to pull a Darren and read nothing. I am sorely tempted, but am looking forward to a bit of a tabula rasa here.

Wise man. I'm staying away from reviews for this one.

"What is inside is also outside." -Goethe via Merleau-Ponty, in conclusion to the latter's one extended rumination on film
Filmwell, Twitter, & Letterboxd

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I just thought I would post a comment letting everyone know that I'm not reading the comments from the people who aren't reading comments. tumbleweed.gif

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But... how would you know that they are non-comments unless you have read them?

post-49835-1119740286.gif

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Quick question: Len Klady refers to this film as from Denmark.

Denmark? Is it in Danish? Was it financed in Denmark?

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a total surprise.

I don't know where to begin in writing my review. I'd heard it was a much simpler movie, but I think it's every bit as complicated, almost acrobatic in its mood-shifts, and visually even more enthralling... perhaps the most painterly Kiarostami film.

I wasn't expecting a comedy, but this movie is very funny. And sad. It's a remarkable follow-up to Certified Copy because it continues exploring some of the same themes, and it extends some of the visual modes of communicating (increasing the complexity of frames-within-frames, reflections, characters divided by glass or divided by vertical reflections in glass, long through-the-windshield-from-outside shots). It is much quieter than its predecessor, with a screenplay that must be only one-third as long, and yet it's every bit as layered and complicated. And it feels one-of-a-kind in its agile maneuvers between melancholy and hilarity.

I'm especially fascinated by the film's myriad ways of emphasizing the influence of capitalism and the West, and how consumerism is tearing down traditions (in good ways and bad), and complicating relationships. (If you listen for it, you'll even hear a rendition of "Oh! Susanna" playing in the distance during one scene.) There is a scene in a car in which three people are inhabiting entirely different worlds of understanding, and their confused conversations lead us through quite a range of emotions.

I am so glad to be a moviegoer in a time when both Kiarostami and Hou are finding such treasure by crossing cultural borders. They're filming through their own unique lenses, and finding stories unlike any that filmmakers from within those cultures would tell.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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That's great to hear, Jeffrey. Did you read David Denby's review in the New Yorker? It's locked for subscribers, but he loved the film, calling it "exquisitely made" and describing the cinematography as "clear and hard-focussed."

I'll have to double-check, but I don't think this film opened in D.C. yesterday.

EDIT: Looks like it opens at Landmark E St. Cinema 3/22.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I love the varying reactions on this thread. Personally, I can't wait to see this one. But I have to. It's not in this town until April.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I'm still coming to terms with the final shot of the film. Right now, I'm inclined to mark this as minor Kiarostami, although the extended cab scene near the beginning strikes me as one of the best things he's ever done. As an exiled artist, there's something admirable in the way he adapts, chameleon-like, to the culture he's exploring. Hence, Certified Copy feels European, while this one addresses the very Asian theme of the generational divide, of young people and their ebbing relationship with their elders.

Also, this reaffirms Kiarostami's title as the unrivaled master of vehicular cinema. Get the man in a car, and he's unstoppable.

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

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I'm looking forward to reading your review, Jeffrey, since you seem to have had a very meaningful interaction with the film. I'm particularly curious to know which parts you found hilarious. (Is it the scene where he's trying to get her to try the soup?) I'm also intrigued by your "painterly" remark. As usual, Kiarostami's spatial precision is a pleasure to watch, but I really missed those signature landscape shots which work in combination with the close-ups to create a gentle visual rhythm. The film is almost claustrophobic in its closeness, which, in a way, supports some of the film's themes.

The character who intrigues me the most is the next-door neighbor--a busybody with an aching heart. The way Kiarostami introduces her is brilliant: first a disembodied voice, then a (figuratively) disembodied head.

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

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The way Kiarostami introduces her is brilliant: first a disembodied voice, then a (figuratively) disembodied head.

I'd revise that slightly: first, a disembodied voice, then a POV shot through a translucent curtain (fantastic), and then the head in a box (which is in another box).

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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The way Kiarostami introduces her is brilliant: first a disembodied voice, then a (figuratively) disembodied head.

I'd revise that slightly: first, a disembodied voice, then a POV shot through a translucent curtain (fantastic), and then the head in a box (which is in another box).

I have no recollection of the POV. Good catch.

Edited by Nathaniel

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

Twitter     Letterboxd

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