Hirokazu Kore-eda - Palme d'Or Winner at Cannes
The Palme d'Or is one of the most prestigious awards in the film industry. Constituted by the Cannes Festival’s Organizing Committee in 1955, the Palme d’Or is the highest award at the Cannes Festival.
Grand Prix du Festival International du Film was the highest award at the Cannes Festival from 1939 to 1954. Palme d’Or was replaced by the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film in 1964. However, it was reintroduced in 1975.
Japanese director Hirokazo Kore-eda’s ‘Shoplifters’ was adjudged as the best film to be awarded the Palme d’Or by the Cannes 2018 jury members. On the 19th of May 2018, at the Cannes 71st edition’s closing ceremony, Cate Blanchett, the Jury President and members selected the festival’s most acclaimed entries to judge ‘Shoplifters’ worthy of the highest award Palme d’Or prize.
‘Shoplifters’ was hailed as a modest masterpiece by the master Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who is renowned for his delicate touch. The film deals with a small-time thief and a young girl, who has suffered abuse. The thief takes the girl to his family, who decides to raise her as their own, seeing girl’s scars from abuse.
Director Hirokazu Kore-eda revealed, “The story of ‘Shoplifters’ was conceived considering my earlier film ‘Like Father, Like Son’. The question ‘What makes a family?’ influenced the storyline of the film.” The renowned Japanese director was also influenced by the Japanese Recession. The story is set in Tokyo.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Shoplifters’ is a Japanese family drama. The film was edited, written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. The film stars Lily Franky and Sakura Ando. The film is about a family, who rely on shoplifting. They cope with their life of poverty.
The story revolves around Osamu Shibata, who is married to Nobuyo. They live in poverty in Tokyo. Osamu receives occasional employment and Nobuyo has a low-paying job. The family relies mainly on the grandmother's pension. Osamu and his son Shota discover a homeless girl Yuri after shoplifting groceries. Osamu takes Yuri to their home, where the family informally adopts her. The Tokyo police, who are aware of Yuri being missing, begin to search for her. How the climax unfolds is the masterstroke of Hirokazu’s filmmaking.
Cate Blanchett, Cannes 2018 Jury President stated, “We were completely bowled over by ‘Shoplifters’. How intermeshed the performances were with the directorial vision.” After 1997, Hirokazu Kore-eda is the second Japanese director to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes, after ‘The Eel’.
The film touched chords with renowned critics at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Hailing the film as ‘an outstanding domestic drama, crafted by Kore-eda with crystalline insight and an unsparing emotional acuity’, Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph awarded it five stars. It was ‘A rich and satisfying film’ for Peter Bradshaw. The film is ‘bittersweet, as it contrasts the frigid emotions of socially correct behavior, with the warmth and happiness of a dishonest lower-class family’ for Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter. Ben Croll declared it as ‘Kore-eda's richest film-to-date’.
Hirokazu Kore-eda was born on the 6th of June 1962 in Tokyo. The multifaceted Japanese is a film director, producer, screenwriter and editor. Hirokazu is well-known for his films 2004’s ‘Nobody Knows’, 2008’s ‘Still Walking’, 2013’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’ and 2016’s ‘After the Storm’. In 2013, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’ won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2016, ‘After the Storm’ was premiered at the Cannes. The film was critically acclaimed by one and all at Cannes.
The Journey of Success
The journey of success for Hirokazu Kore-eda commenced as an assistant director of documentaries for television. Having honed his skills, he directed ‘Lessons from a Calf’ in 1991, his first television documentary. This was just the beginning for the great Japanese filmmaker.
At the 1995 Venice Film Festival, Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Golden Osella for Best Director for his Japanese drama ‘Maborosi’. The film ‘Maborosi’, known in Japan as Maboroshi no Hikari, 'a trick of the light', directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda starring Makiko Esumi, Tadanobu Asano, and Takashi Naito. It is based on a novel by Teru Miyamoto.
Four years later, Kore-eda’s ‘After Life’ won the Best Film and Best Screenplay at the 1999 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. Kore-eda’s ‘After Life’ is known as ‘Wonderful Life’ in Japan. The 1998 film was edited, written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It starred Arata, Oda Erika and Terajima Susumu.
All his directed films have created creative buzz among jury members of renowned film festivals around the world. The director is highly respected among cine-aficionados. The Harvard Film Archive puts Kore-eda in high esteem. His works reflect the contemplative style and pacing of such luminaries as Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang.
In one of Kore-eda’s interview, he had revealed that ‘Still Walking’ was based on his own family. At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Kore-eda was nominated for the Palme d’Or for his film ‘Like Father, Like Son’. The film won the Jury Prize and won a commendation from the Ecumenical Jury. The film also won the Rogers People’s Choice Award at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival.
In 2015, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Our Little Sister’ was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. He has regularly stirred the jury members at Cannes with his amazingly touching films, year-after-year. In 2016, Kore-eda’s ‘After the Storm’ premiered to critical acclaim in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Next Project
Kore-eda has been working on the script of his new project for the past ten years. The film is yet-to-be titled. The film is currently busy shooting in various locations. The cast includes Ando Sakura and Lily Franky. Japan’s Gaga Corp is producing the film, with Fuji Television Network and AOI Pro. Gaga will handle film’s sales for the Asian territories, with Wild Bunch handling the rest of the world. Gaga will be releasing the film theatrically in Japan, in June 2018.