We had a wonderful Asian lunch at the ICS headquarters today. Could that be the reason that Asian films dominated the ICS Cannes Awards this year? Or was it simply because all Asian films in competition were of such high quality that they won over all our panelists? We like to think this is the real reason.
To be fair, there was one film that burned the competition to ashes in virtually every category. Lee Chang-dong’s Burning should technically have won everything but Best Actress, but since we follow the exact same rules as the actual Cannes jury, the Korean film ‘only’ walked away with the Palme d’Or.
Nouvelle Vague God Jean-Luc Godard mumbled his way through Le livre d’image, but his essay on film in all its different incarnations still managed to wow enough of our voters to take home the Grand Prix. Hopefully we can arrange a Facetime session with the Swiss director to bestow him this honor.
China and Japan have a history between them (and not always a good one, to put it mildly). We can now add a tie for Prix du Jury at the ICS Cannes Awards to that history, as Jia Zhangke’s Ash is Purest White and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters shared the prize.
Italian actor Marcello Fonte took home the gold for Matteo Garrone’s Dogman, playing a dog groomer who can only handle so much violence unleashed upom him, while Chinese actress Zhao Tao won yet another award for Asia in Jia Zhangke’s Ash is Purest White, the second award for that film.
The second tie came in writing, as Christophe Honoré and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi shared the Best Screenplay award for Plaire, aimer et courir vite and Asako I & II, respectively, both stories about complicated love.
To complete the Asian lovefest, the ICS also decided to award Bi Gan a special prize for his groundbreaking work in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a mesmerizing rumination on dreams and memories enhanced by some of the most amazing cinematography you will ever see. Another reason to award it this special prize is the fact that it achieved the highest rating on our ICS Critics’ Panel (the higher average for Burning is because a Palme is awarded six points in Competition).
A round-up of our winners:
Burning – Lee Chang-dong
Le livre d’image – Jean-Luc Godard
Prix du Jury
Ash is Purest White – Jia Zhangke
Shoplifters – Hirokazu Kore-eda
Alice Rohrwacher for Lazzaro felice
Marcello Fonte for Dogman
Zhao Tao for Ash is Purest White
Christophe Honoré for Plaire, aimer et courir vite
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi for Asako I & II
Special ICS Award
Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Bi Gan