Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2013)

Abbas Kiarostami continues to work wonders outside Iran, bringing all the masterful techniques he developed and perfected in his homeland while adapting them to new settings. Like Someone in Love almost feels like the antithesis of his usual work, though the irreconcilable differences of false identities, idealized perspectives and a technology that distances by bringing people together are all quintessential elements of his cinema. Here, though, they amount to something disturbing and claustrophobic instead of warm and far-reaching. It feels like Kiarostami's bleakest, from a devastating car ride set to the sad voicemails of a grandmother missing her grandchild to a downright suspenseful conclusion that repeats the final shot framing the window in Certified Copy but now highlights how the portal obscures and blinds instead of revealing in quiet grace. The density of its visual and aural construction makes it worth intense study, but this is one of the few Kiarostami features I've seen I did not want to instantly rewatch upon completion, for I was so unsettled.

My full review is up now at Spectrum Culture.

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