Like Someone in Love, 2012 (Available May 20, 2014)
After near forty films in Iran, “Certified Copy” brought Kiarostami well-deserved global acknowledgement. Kiarostami now returns with his second international film examining mistaken identities: the sensational “Like Someone in Love”. Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a college student moonlighting as an escort in Tokyo, is sent to see the elderly Takashi (Tadashi Okuno) – a man with whom she forms an unlikely bond.
With only a handful of scenes filling out the near-two-hour runtime, “Like Someone in Love” isn’t for the action-hungry, but as a cinematic examination of the assumptions we make and the identities we portray, it is a pleasure to experience. Abbas Kiarostami is, himself, a filmmaker of mistaken identity. Coming from the Iranian New Wave in 1970, Kiarostami has mastered the formal drama, creating style from exemplary restraint. Although the story could have taken place anywhere, his love and understanding for Tokyo’s place inside the narrative resulted in a film that is exceptional in nearly every way.
The Criterion release will finally bring this outstanding film to the U.S. on DVD and Bluray. This edition will include a new digital master approved by director Abbas Kiarostami, a forty-five-minute documentary on the making of the film, a new English subtitle translation, and an exclusive essay by film critic Nico Baumbach.
Ace in the Hole, 1951 (Available May 6, 2014)
One man is stuck in a hole he’s made by boozing and seducing his boss’ wives. Another man is stuck in a literal hole. For the first man to get out of his hole, he has to make sure the second man stays in his. In Billy Wilder’s 1951 underrated classic, “Ace in the Hole,” Kirk Douglas plays Charles Tatum, a vicious and downtrodden journalist willing to do anything to get a good story. The plot centers on Tatum dragging out his story about a man trapped in a cave (to dire consequences) and examines how much people will pay just to make some money.
Wilder’s attack of sensationalism and yellow journalism opened to commercial failure. Even though it has earned a critical reputation since its release, “Ace in the Hole” still lies in the shadow of other Wilder classics like “Some Like it Hot” and “Sunset Boulevard.” Thanks to the new Criterion release, it may finally see the popular success it deserved. The loaded Criterion edition features a 2K digital restoration of the film, an audio commentary by Neil Sinyard, a documentary on Wilder, interviews with Wilder and Douglas, a video afterword by Spike Lee, stills, trailers, and critical essays. Fan of Wilder or not, “Ace in the Hole” remains as one of the most vindictive attacks on American culture in Hollywood, and a movie that is as relevant today as it was in 1951. Thanks to Criterion, the film is better than ever.