The French-Japanese Like Someone in Love (IFC Films, Not Rated, 109 minutes, Japanese with English subtitles) is coming to the Landmark-Lagoon Cinema on March 15.
An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of twenty-four hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.
Fresh from the triumph of his Tuscany-set Certified Copy, master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry) travels even further afield from his native Iran for this mysteriously beautiful romantic drama filmed 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 beautiful 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 title). Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s way-too-possessive boyfriend (Ry Kase); but as usual with 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?
Abbas Kiarostami was born in 1940 Tehran, Iran. He showed a keen interest in drawing early on and, at age 18, entered a graphic-art contest and won.
He studied at then fine arts school in Tehran whilst making ends meet as a graphic designer, poster illustrator and commercial ad director. In 1969, he founded the cinema department of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children & Young Adults, which is also where he directed his first short films.
Since 2001, Kiarostami has been involved in a love affair with a small camera and, as a result, works only with digital film. He has gained more freedom with this «camerapen» of his and has with its help, directed several nature films of varying lengths, between fiction and documentary: ABC Africa (2001), Ten (2002), Five Dedicated To Ozu (2003), 10 on Ten (2004), Roads of Kiarostami (2005) and Shirin (2008).
With Certified Copy in 2009, Kiarostami comes back through fiction to a bigger production and shoots for the first time out of Iran – in Tuscany – with an international cast. Juliette Binoche will receive the Best Actress award during Cannes Festival where the film was presented in the Official Competition. After Italy, Like Someone In Love, a production similar to Certified Copy, brings Abbas Kiarostami to Japan, a new universe to discover.
Born in 1988, Rin Takanashi started her activity as an actress with Goth in 2008. In 2009 she played in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, an action TV series where she featured as one of the main characters. Her next feature film is Is There Anyone Alive? directed by Gakuryu Ishii.
Her other works are TV drama Space Dog Strategy, O Parts, Papador and some more. This year she has also played in Today, Love Will Start directed by Ken Furusawa, scheduled to be released in December 2012.
Tadashi Okuno was born in 1930. He started his activities in his early 20s as a play actor with Bungakuza, a famous play group and theatre. Later he played as supporting actor in a few TV dramas and movies.
Born in Kanawaga in 1974, Ryo Kase lived in Washington until the age of seven. His cinema career began in 2000 in the legendary action film Gojoe by Sogo Ishii and in the comedy Party 7 by Katsuhito Ishii. In 2001 he went on to act in Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack by Shusuke Kaneko.
Ryo Kase has since been in over 40 films, as well on television and in advertisements. Most of his films have never made it to European cinemas. Films such as Antena by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (2004), Scrap Heaven by Sang-il Lee (2005), I Just Didn’t Do It by Masayuki Suo (2006) and The Invitation From Cinema Orion by Kenki Saegusa (2008).
However, the French cinema-going public discovered him in 2001 in the romantic comedy Hush by Ryosuke Hashiguchi and later in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s dramas Jellyfish (2003) and Retribution (2007), in Nobody Knows (2004) and Hana Yori Mo Naho (2006) by Hirokazu Kore-eda, The Taste of Tea by Katsuhito Ishii (2004), and in Outrage by Takeshi Kitano (2010).
Kase has also had parts in international films such as The Passenger by François Rotger (2005). He played the part of Shimizu in Clint Eastwood’s film Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). He did the voice-over for one of the characters in The Sky Crawlers by Mamoru Oshii (2008).
He is a ghost in Restless by Gus Van Sant (2011) and Akira in Interior Design, Kenzo Horikoshi is a producer and a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts. He graduated from the School of Film and New Media. He is now Head of Eurospace Inc. and of the Film School of Tokyo (Eiga-bigakko).
In 1977, Kenzo Horikoshi started in the movie industry by owning a film club. In 1982, he founded Eurospace, one of Tokyo art house distribution pioneers, and released more than 140 films. Since 1992, he has produced and co-produced about 20 long-featured films. In 1997, he opened the Film School of Tokyo and in 2005 he created a PhD in cinema at the Tokyo University of the Arts.