Asian films featured prominently among the winners of this year’s Cannes film festival (July 6-17), with Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car taking best screenplay and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria taking the Jury Prize ex aequo.
Starring Tilda Swinton and filmed in Colombia, Memoria is Apichatpong’s first English-language feature and the first he has made outside his home country of Thailand. Swinton plays a woman living in Medellin who is haunted by an unexplained noise and sets off on a journey into the country’s interior to unravel its mystery.
Apichatpong previously won the Cannes Palme d’Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010.
An adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami, Drive My Car follows an actor and theatre director who agrees to direct a multi-lingual production of Uncle Vanya to be staged in Hiroshima. Hidetoshi Nishijima plays the theatre director and the cast also includes Reika Krishima, Toko Miura and Masaki Okada.
Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II played in Cannes competition in 2018, while his Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy took the Silver Bear Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin film festival.
The Cannes competition jury was chaired by Spike Lee and also included Mati Diop, Mylène Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausner, Mélanie Laurent, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Tahar Rahim and Song Kang-ho.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2021:
Palme d’or: Titane, directed by Julia Ducournau
Grand Prix (ex aequo): A Hero, directed by Asghar Farhadi; Compartment N°6, directed by Juho Kuosmanen
Best Director: Leos Carax for Annette
Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Jury Prize (ex aequo): Memoria, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul; Ahed’s Knee, directed by Nadav Lapid
Best Performance by an Actress: Renate Reinsve in The Worst Person In The World, directed by Joachim Trier
Best Performance by an Actor: Caleb Landry Jone in Nitram, directed by Justin Kurzel
Short Films Palme d’or: All the Crows In The World, directed by Tang Yi
Short films Special Mention: August Sky, directed by Jasmin Tenucci