Presented by Iranian Film Festival
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase, Denden, Mihoko Suzuki, Kaneko Kubota
Produced by: Charles Gillibert, Marin Karmitz, Kenzo Horikoshi, Nathanaël Karmitz, Abbas Kiarostami
Trading in the pastoral Tuscan countryside for the neon lights of Tokyo, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry
) continues to explore the blurred line between reality and fiction in his quietly hypnotic follow-up to Certified Copy
. While possessing an uncanny ability to assimilate outside his native Iran and command an all-Japanese cast, the Palme d’Or laureate still feels like the quintessential outside observer, maintaining a fly-on-the-wall perspective throughout. His latest centers on Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a beautiful yet disenchanted young student doubling as an escort, who is whisked off to rendezvous with Takashi (Tadashi Okuno), a sweetly befuddled, retired professor. After he drops her off for class, he encounters her volatile boyfriend (who mistakes him for her grandfather), initiating a deceptive dance that escalates in the end. Recalling Japanese greats like Yasujirô Ozu, Kiarostami delivers an austere yet evocative story addressing the dangers of mistaken and assumed identities, the perils of disengagement and the importance of breaking free from the existential malaise of daily life.
Film Note Writer: Laura Swanbeck