Like Someone in Love: Cedar Lee/Lemon Grass

 

 

Kiarostami is a  renowned Iranian director who considers himself a world citizen. This film is set in Japan with Japanese actors speaking in Japanese (with English subtitles, of course).

According to Martin Scorsese, "Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema."

Jean-Luc Godard has said, "Film begins with D.W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami."

The title of this movie is from a song by Ella Fitzgerald. Kiarostami has a reputation for using child protagonists, for documentary style narrative films, for stories that take place in rural villages, and for conversations that unfold inside cars, using stationary mounted cameras. He is also known for his use of contemporary Iranian poetry in the dialogue, titles, and themes of his films. 

 

Please note: This film may NOT have much a story. Based on the reviews that I have read, the focus seems to be on the relationship between the three main characters. See below for additional info on the director.

 

 7:15PM MOVIE at the Cedar Lee (approximate time)

Meet us in the lobby about 15 minutes ahead of time or look for the group inside the theater or meet us afterward not too far from the ticket office.

Food and drink/Discussion at Lemon Grass --after the movie.

******If you cannot find us in the lobby of the movie theater after the movie, please go the the restaurant and ask the manager for the "movie group".********

 

Like Someone in Love--synopsis

Abbas Kiarostami, the writer/director of the critically acclaimed "Certified Copy," 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 (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. Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s insanely jealous boyfriend (Ryo 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? (IFC)

 

1 hr. 49 min.  In Japanese, with English subtitles. 

Directed By: Abbas Kiarostami  

Written By: Abbas Kiarostami

Review from Film Journal:

Elegantly lensed, eloquently scripted, with its unusual and sure to be controversial climax, Like Someone in Love does what it sets out to, make us wonder about who we are and why we do the things we do. As the song goes, “Sometimes the things I do astound me.”

http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/specialty-releases/e3i75f483a660fda25cc38e4ef9007c06b8

 

 

Style and Themes:

 

Minimalism

 

Quote from the director:

My films have been progressing towards a certain kind of minimalism, even though it was never intended. Elements which can be eliminated have been eliminated. This was pointed out to me by somebody who referred to the paintings of Rembrandt and his use of light: some elements are highlighted while others are obscured or even pushed back into the dark. And it's something that we do - we bring out elements that we want to emphasize. I'm not claiming or denying that I have done such a thing but I do believe in [Robert] Bresson's method of creation through omission, not through addition.

Scenes in around Cars

 

Quote from Director:

My car's my best friend. My office. My home. My location. I have a very intimate sense when I am in a car with someone next to me. We're in the most comfortable seats because we're not facing each other, but sitting side by side. We don't look at each other, but instead do so only when we want to. We're allowed to look around without appearing rude. We have a big screen in front of us and side views. Silence doesn't seem heavy or difficult. Nobody serves anybody. And many other aspects. One most important thing is that it transports us from one place to another.

 

Spirituality

Kiarostami's films often reflect upon immaterial concepts such as soul and afterlife

Poetry and imagery

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, of the University of Maryland, argues that one aspect of Kiarostami's cinematic style is that he is able to capture the essence of Persian poetry and create poetic imagery within the landscape of his films.

Themes of life and death

The concepts of change and continuity, in addition to the themes of life and death, play a major role in Kiarostami's works.

Fiction and non-fiction

Kiarostami's films contain a notable degree of ambiguity, an unusual mixture of simplicity and complexity, and often a mix of fictional and documentary elements. Kiarostami has stated, "We can never get close to the truth except through lying."

 

 

 

Tips for improving the restaurant experience:

  • Let us know your dinner plans when you RSVP so that we can either save you a seat at the "Movie Group" table or plan to meet you at the movie.
  • Print out a map or enter the restaurant address in your GPS ahead of time.
  • We can't always split the checks so please bring CASH to pay for your meal.
  • If you don't see us when you walk in, ask to sit with the "Movie Group".

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The $5.00 yearly fee (or $1.50 for one movie) goes toward charges incurred for using the MeetUp website. You can access PayPal (see link in left hand column) or pay your fee to the Organizer at the event.
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NOTE TO ALL
In the world of Independent films, it is recommended that you check back a few days before the event to make sure the movie, restaurant, location or time has not changed.

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  • Renu

    Ok, here is my take:

    It was a conceptual film and, for me, the key to understanding it are 2 symbols that were so pervasive in the film: windows and cars. Both windows and cars symbolized how they viewed the world and transported themselves within their world. Windows frame our world view—they allow us to see the world but also limit our view. At the same time, they also shield us from the outside. Cars transport and enclose us. So, the film was about how they enclosed aspects of themselves and their view and hence, their inability to truly connect. The breaking of the window smashed thru all their glass walls-the façade. By shattering it, their world was broken open. I do think it was a fitting end—although, it is impossible to know what actually happened to the 3 main characters. We can only speculate (thanks to Grace and Marvin for conjuring up all kinds of scenarios). Did it destroy them or did it allow them to lead fuller lives?

    March 17, 2013

    • Grace

      Very deep insight of the movie, you make a great movie critic!

      March 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Renu....for me....you closed the circle....I think I understand....hopefully the impact of the broken window .....was enough to push them to fuller lives

      March 17, 2013

  • Renu

    The movie was a complete enigma and it is still haunting me. Great conversation! I loved all the various theories--from Marvin's conceptual view to Grace's very optimistic, positive interpretation of the ending and all the other various theories that fell somewhere between these two. Thanks to all who came!

    March 16, 2013

    • Renu

      Grace--I have to admit your view is much more exciting!

      1 · March 17, 2013

    • Grace

      Thanks Renu!

      March 17, 2013

  • Grace

    Ok, this is the real ending --> the grandpa ducked and immediately he got up and threw his TV out of the window and killed the boyfriend...FIN...

    March 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      [teary eyed] it was such a tribute to their un-requited love....that he drove that Volvo....with the imprint of her body on the hood....with the cracked windshield....it;s also hard to find replacement parts for Swedish automobiles in Japan [still whimpering a little]

      1 · March 16, 2013

    • Grace

      So the moral of the movie is not to get foreign cars; that's the real message.

      1 · March 16, 2013

  • Grace

    Nice meeting everyone interesting movie, great food at lemon grass

    March 15, 2013

    • Susan

      Yes! The conversation is why I love this group. It really makes movies more meaningful.

      1 · March 16, 2013

    • Renu

      great pics, Grace!

      1 · March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry for last minute RSVP change. Exhausting day. I'd never make it thru two hours of subtitles.

    March 15, 2013

  • Jeane

    Sorry, something just came up.

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am not feeling well today, so I won't be able to join you this evening.

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One of the reasons I joined this group was to push myself out of my comfort zone. I've never seen a Japanese movie, so count me in (dinner too).

    March 11, 2013

  • Ree

    rsvp me for dinner also thanks

    March 8, 2013

  • George

    MOCA opening.

    March 2, 2013

  • George

    MOCA opening.

    March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds intriguing.

    March 2, 2013

11 went

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