Mixed bag – and some surprises – as Asia gets ready for Cannes
Given the recent success of Asian productions at the Festival de Cannes, it came as little surprise to find that this year’s edition of the world’s most prestigious film gathering would offer a wide selection from the region. What did come as a surprise, though, is just who got an invitation – and who did not.
This year’s Cannes Festival will run from May 11-22 and will feature two Asian directors vying for the top award – the Palme d’Or – which was taken home last year by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul for his Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
Japan’s Naomi Kawase is in the running with Hanezu No Tsuki – lifted from the pages of the famous novel by Bando Masako – while long-time festival favorite Takashi Miike returns with the 3D epic Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai, which will take its place in the field of 19 films.
But there will be no appearance on the famed French waterfront by Cannes darling Wong Kar-wai, who was expected to have his latest production The Grandmasters – based on the life of Ip Man, the man who taught Bruce Lee kung fu – ready in time for the festival. No such luck for the notoriously slow-working Wong, as the Hong Kong director is still piecing his production together.