Abbas Kiarostami continues his search for cinema in Japan

There are some amazing movies. That is, they are not because of the size, even the weight, of their “subject”, of their desire to comment on the great History or to claim that there is an invincible point of view on that -ni .

They are very accurate because of their seemingly slow argument, the events portrayed as seemingly excessive, and the way everything seems to be brought to a high level of poetry and intensity in what is, perhaps, called the setting. .on the stage. Even something that may not be an addition to technical recipes but touches the heart of the reality of creatures and circumstances.

We know that Abbas Kiarostami has multiplied formal experiments over the years, even in violation of forms in his way of expression. The Iranian filmmaker has long been not only a great international writer but also an important contemporary artist whose quest we can sometimes question.

But there is nothing esoteric, too complicated, in the brain suffocating Like a Man of Love. The story and the depiction of a meeting where emotion does not eliminate a good form of humor.

A scene from the Franco-Japanese film by Abbas Kiarostami,

Akiko, a young provincial who came to Tokyo a few years ago, is a student who practices prostitution. Her boyfriend, with whom she always lies, seems excited and jealous when we judge by her phone conversations.

He went one night to the house of a client he did not know. He was a lonely college professor. He spent the night at his house. He took her back to his university in the morning and fell, after a combination of circumstances, to the girl’s “fiancé”. It starts with a game of cheats and lies, through unexpected conversations, misunderstandings (the young man takes her for Akiko’s grandfather), moments and misunderstandings, sometimes slow burlesque.

But what is such a virtuoso addition to the adventures collected in less than twenty-four hours has become a moving photograph of individuals subject to their immutability and a way to reflect in its own way. in the cinema to achieve this.

A scene from the Franco-Japanese film by Abbas Kiarostami,

Shocking Devices

The frame and the time, these two urgency and similarity given by cinematographic art itself, become the material of an artist who imposes the viewer on the gentle obligation to always think about what he sees.

The relationship between sound and image, the role given to what is “off-screen” (who speaks? Who sees ?, we always wonder) continues here from a strange skill. The filmmaker’s choices build a series of tools that are as awesome as they seem obvious, which is to say that they never violate the initial requirements, both of which tell the story of some people – to whom long shots give a remarkable thickness – and in motion.

However, this miracle, here, in no way contradicts the realization that visible reality, captured by the camera, also comes from a construction, from the combined “weaving” of different elements resulting in a plastic beauty in all seasons and a unique aesthetic delight.

Like a Man of Love (title of a jazz standard, cunningly commenting on the story) combines calligraphic accuracy and exhilarating goodness.

Franco-Japanese film by Abbas Kiarostami with Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase (1 h 49).


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