Critics make their choices in Cannes

Burning, Girl and One Day receive recognition

by Richard Mowe

International Critics’ prize for Cannes Competition titles Burning by Lee Chang-Doing
International Critics’ prize for Cannes Competition titles Burning by Lee Chang-Doing Photo: Festival de Cannes
Ahead of the top accolade of the Palme d’Or and other Official Competition prizes this evening at the Cannes Film Festival, the jury of the International Federation of Film Critics have awarded their winners which are often reflected elsewhere in the honours.

South Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s Burning (Buh-Ning) which was selected as the prize-winner from the Competition, has a male protagonist (Yoo Ah-in) for his study on contemporary class issues, loneliness and the moral bankruptcy of society’s wealthy elite. It is said to have echoes of Wiliam Faulkner’s short story Barn Burning. The director’s previous efforts have included Secret Sunshine in 2007 and Poetry in 2010. The critics’ citation described it as, “A visually stunning film and an emotionally complex comment on contemporary society”,

In Un Certain Regard sidebar the critics’ choice is Girl, by Lukas Dhont, a first film which deals with a transitioning young ballet dancer. The jury appreciated “its bold integrity in tackling gender issues and displaying incredible poise - from a first-time director who describes the delicate and touching rapport in a father-daughter relationship wonderfully portrayed by the two actors”.

Lukas Dhont’s Girl in Cannes Un Certain Regard:  "The jury appreciated “its bold integrity in tackling gender issues …”
Lukas Dhont’s Girl in Cannes Un Certain Regard: "The jury appreciated “its bold integrity in tackling gender issues …” Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Finally, the jury for the Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week - whose choice was focused on first or second-time directors - the best film was One Day (Egy nap) by debut Hungarian director Zsófia Szilágyi, a study about the rigours of motherhood through the eyes of Anna, who has three children, a husband, a job and financial stress to cope with. The citation praised “the precise camera work and the powerful mise-en-scène which convey the extraordinary intensity and tension of an utterly ordinary situation with feeling, humour and drama. A remarkably confident debut”.

The members of the FIPRESCI for Cannes 2018 comprised: Michel Ciment, France – Jury president; Neusa Barbosa, Brazil; Pamela Biénzobas, Chile; Joost Broeren, The Netherlands’ Rita Di Santo, UK; Houda Ibrahim, France; Elli Mastorou, Belgium; Richard Mowe, UK and Jenni Zylka, Germany.

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