Shown here is one aspect of Tokyo today, the one, as it happens, which exiled Iranian filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, takes a remarkably close look at in his recent film, Like Someone in Love (2012). The Bar Rizzo is headquarters for an escort service where Akiko (seated in the foreground with her back to us), a college student, generates cash flow. She and her colleagues are mavens of freedoms now ascendant in their super-urban home town.
During the time we’re with her, Akiko is consigned to a retired professor whom her pimp reveres. She’s on her way to a Sociology exam; he’s a former instructor in Sociology. Both are pleased with the upsurge of cosmopolitan predominance. She snubs her rural granny; he snubs his nosey, snide, small-minded neighbor.
Akika is not nearly as comfortable with ditching her “gran” as he is with dissing his nemesis. She can’t really relate to the Geisha with the (mechanically chattering) parrot in the picture on his wall. But she recognizes there something to respect.
Her boyfriend, young but with antiquated rural roots and rural prejudices. He’s enraged by her appearing in a dopey ad.
Looking at the City (from a cab en route to the modern oldster, whose respectably determinist slogan is, “Whatever will be will be”), she is transfixed by the new and the free (and, here a merely exciting shadow, the very difficult).
Boston, and the peril of violently desperate laggards. The dazzling film and the ruined race remind us that there are monstrous reactionaries, in face of which those who embrace the adventure of the new are not advised to be dismissive, careless and facile.

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