Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s Monster opens the race for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival followed by Catherine Corsini’s Homecoming.
Festival de Cannes 2023: Opening yesterday as a historical spectacle with Maïwenn‘s Jeanne Du Barry, the 76th edition saw the official competition start with Kore-Eda Hirokazu‘s Monster and Catherine Corsini‘s Le Retour (Homecoming). Out of competition, Wim Wenders returned to Cannes to present Anselm, a documentary on the artist Anselm Kiefer, out of competition and in a special screening.
Catherine Corsini’s return to Cannes
Catherine Corsini has already climbed the steps of the Cannes Festival in 2021, for the screening of her film La Fracture. Shot in Corsica last September and November, Homecoming, the Corsican-born director’s new and twelfth feature film, tells the story of a 40-year-old woman who returns to the Isle of Beauty for a summer in the company of her two teenage daughters, Jessica and Farah, whom they left fifteen years earlier in tragic circumstances. The two young girls will have their first experiences of love. The selection of the film was a few days supended, as the film is surrounded by a sulphurous aura, due to a sensual scene involving an underage girl.
Anselm by Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders has won many honours at Cannes: Palme d’Or for Paris, Texas, Grand Prix du Jury for So Far, So Close, Prix de la mise en scène for Wings of Desire, International Critics’ Prize for The Course of Time… And he was President of the Jury in 1989. This year, the prolific director presents a feature film in Competition, Perfect Days, and a documentary in Special Screening: Anselm, dedicated to the work of the contemporary German visual artist Anselm Kiefer.
Hirokazu Kore-eda, a regular on the Croisette
A regular at the Croisette, with eight films selected, including six in competition, Hirokazu Kore-Eda directed in 2018 in Manbiki kazoku a clan of sympathetic thieves, somewhat on the fringe of society, who take in a little girl mistreated by her parents. Shoplifters won him the Palme d’Or. Before that, he received the Jury Prize in 2013 for Like Father, Like Son. Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda returns to the Competition for the 7th time with Kaibutsu (Monster), his 16th feature film, a thriller exploring the relationship between a mother, her young son and the latter’s teacher. His last film, The Good Stars, presented in Competition last year, was made entirely in South Korea, whereas Monster marks his return to the land of the Rising Sun.
Who really is the monster?
In Monster, Hirokazu Kore-Eda continues to explore the theme of the family, his favourite subject, in resonance with childhood, abused at school or at home. The film presents in three parts three facets of the same story – we will understand it later – of attraction between two students in the same class. Minato, raised by his widowed mother, is a fifth-grader with a disturbed, even disruptive behaviour, possibly harassed by his teacher. Another pupil, Hoshikawa, is the scapegoat of the class, and Minato is even accused of harassing him. So is Minato a victim or a rebel? His bizarre behaviour leaves some doubt. Quite complex to follow, the narration of the scenes experienced differently through the eyes of the mother, the teacher and the child, let us glimpse little by little the truth about the responsibilities and guilt of the different protagonists of the film.
Suffering in the wind of instruments
Hirokazu Kore-Eda films with modesty and delicacy this fusional relationship between the two children who become inseparable and create a refuge for their friendship in the wagon of a disused line, hidden in the heart of the surrounding nature. The beautiful music by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto underlines with emotion this story between reality and lies, especially when the school principal invites Minato: “What you can’t say, blow it out!” Their suffering is then lost in the poignant complaints of wind instruments. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who died last March, wrote there his last film score.
The Red Carpet of Kaibutsu (Monster)
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