EDITORIAL | Cannes Double Win a Reminder to the World of Japan’s Filmmaking Caliber

The 2023 Cannes Film Competition witnessed a momentous achievement for Japanese cinema, as two movies acquired prestigious awards: one particular for Most effective Actor, and the other for Best Screenplay. This simultaneous victory in two significant categories highlights the extraordinary top quality of Japanese filmmaking. It also supplies a substantial improve to the industry’s prominence.

Koji Yakusho was honored with the Best Actor award for his performance in Perfect Days (2023). It is a captivating movie set in Tokyo, directed by Wim Wenders. Yakusho’s recognition brings to mind the former victory of Yuya Yagira, who, at the youthful age of 14, gained the identical award for his role in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Appreciates in 2004.

‘Magnetically Charismatic’

Yakusho’s track record extends over and above Japan’s borders. His notable portrayal in Shohei Imamura’s The Eel secured the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1997. In Fantastic Days, Yakusho masterfully depicts an enigmatic and taciturn bathroom cleaner. He manages to captivate audiences regardless of being supplied a demanding function with negligible dialogue. Even the notoriously crucial French press lauded his performance as “magnetically charismatic.”

In the Very best Screenplay group, Yuji Sakamoto acquired the award for his fantastic work on Monster, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. This triumph marks Japan’s second gain in the class considering the fact that Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe received the award for Generate My Auto in 2021.

Sakamoto is a renowned screenwriter who has played a popular job in Japan’s tv market, significantly in making what is known as “fashionable dramas” in Japan. These reveals, generated all over the time of Japan’s financial bubble, provide a glimpse into city existence, pop culture, and romance. Notably, Sakamoto wrote the script for the widely common Tokyo Enjoy Story (1991). In the latest years, he has also ventured into films addressing social challenges, profitable the Hashida Award for his script for Mother (2010).

Hirokazu Kore-eda(C), Koji Yakusho (R)

World-wide Recognition of Japanese Talent

The recognition bestowed upon Yakusho and Sakamoto displays the global acknowledgment of Japan’s filmmaking caliber. It is uplifting to witness the impact of these esteemed maestros on the international stage. 

German filmmaker Wim Wenders is a Japanophile and a terrific admirer of Yasujiro Ozu. He acquired the 33rd Praemium Imperiale in the Theatre/Movie class in 2022. In his most current work, Wenders masterfully portrays the basic joys and humble existence of an ordinary guy in a silent corner of Japanese culture.

Wim Wenders (L), Koji Yakusho (R)

French media observed the influences of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) in Sakamoto’s screenplay for Monster. The movie skillfully explores the different interpretations of an incident at a faculty as a result of the eyes of a mom, a instructor, and a child.

Yakusho and Sakamoto, who founded their acting and screenwriting careers in Japan, have now demonstrated their excellent talent on the world wide stage. Even though the intercontinental spotlight has lately focused on Japanese athletes, these achievements underscore the substantial job of filmmaking in uplifting Japanese culture.


(Go through the editorial in Japanese.)

Writer: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun