Set in Tokyo, “Like Someone in Love” has all of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s usual preoccupations: the passage of time, the mystery and contingency of human intercourse, the shadow of death, the illusions of love, the intimacy of being isolated from the world in a moving vehicle. But the setting in Japan does not feel arbitrary; it has a point. Tokyo, the ultimate modern metropolis, with its neon-lit commercial graffiti and buildings that look like a pastiche of everywhere and nowhere, is perfect for Kiarostami’s story of closeness between strangers.

Ian Buruma, Kiarostami’s Tokyo

Photo: Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love (2012) from Euro Space/MK2 Productions

Set in Tokyo, “Like Someone in Love” has all of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s usual preoccupations: the passage of time, the mystery and contingency of human intercourse, the shadow of death, the illusions of love, the intimacy of being isolated from the world in a moving vehicle. But the setting in Japan does not feel arbitrary; it has a point. Tokyo, the ultimate modern metropolis, with its neon-lit commercial graffiti and buildings that look like a pastiche of everywhere and nowhere, is perfect for Kiarostami’s story of closeness between strangers.

Ian Buruma, Kiarostami’s Tokyo

Photo: Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love (2012) from Euro Space/MK2 Productions