At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the jury chaired by Steven Spielberg awarded the Palme d’Or to La vida de Adèle, and the American launched an ode to the quality of the film. From such a father, such a son, from Hirokazu Kore-eda, he only obtained the Jury Prize, a kind of bronze medal, third place in the record. But within a few weeks, Spielberg called Kore-eda, and bought him the rights to a possible American version of his film. “I did not dare to ask him why he had been so interested in my feature film. He did say that he had been very attracted to my work with children. Spielberg has always been motivated by the issue of the child abandoned by his parents,” said at the time. Japanese.

That decision defines the cinema of Kore-eda, born in Tokyo in 1962: its style is classic in the formal, and it leaves the storms so that they are exploding underground throughout the plot. And these plots are usually related to family, more since Kore-eda was the father of a girl, in films highly appreciated by festivals. In San Sebastián he won the award for the best script with Milagro (Kiseki), he competed on two other occasions -with After Life (1998) and Hana (2006) – and in Cannes he has participated five times in the Competition and two other times in A certain look: the Palme d’Or is simply a fair recognition of a creator who has been delivering superb work for 25 years. “This award,” he said last night with La Palma in hand, “reinforces my idea of ​​continuing to make films about the family.” And with a smile, he continued: “I am getting older, and my vision of the family I suppose will change when I turn sixty, seventy …”.

Kore-eda started on television, as an assistant director and as a documentary filmmaker. In 1998 he achieved a certain echo with his second feature, After Life, but it was Nobody Knows – Best Actor Award at Cannes in 2004 – with which international critics highlighted his talent thanks to that tremendous story of brothers who took care of themselves for the constant maternal absence. In 2008 he directed Still Walking, the film closest to his life, inspired by the death of his mother, which happened three years earlier, and by the figure of his paternal grandfather, a doctor who tried to convince him during his childhood to dedicate himself to same profession. “The family can be heavy, but when you lose it you miss it,” he said then, and he assured, when asked about the influence of Yasujiro Ozu in his cinema: “I escape from sentimentality by not showing gestures or emotions of the characters like him. Ozu I love it, I understand that people see influences, but there is no conscious intention. I think we are both very interested in the stories of children who do not meet the expectations of parents, and how we fit human beings into the society”.

In 2013 with Of such a father, such a son began to investigate fatherhood, pushed by his own, which came to him just before the premiere of Kiseki (2011). “I still learn as a father, my daughter is young, and that is clearly reflected in the main protagonist, someone who reacts to what happens to him, who is behind the events,” he assured at the premiere of De tal padre, tal son. “It is a feeling that I live in daily life, and that I wanted to reflect on the screen. And yes, now the point of view of my camera is that of the parent, when before it was the children who starred in my scripts.” In that movie, the Shoplifters germ was probably already there, because Kore-eda’s reflection on the possibility that the emotional family matters more than the biological family began. “I don’t want anyone to take my option as the only answer. My intention was to speak of blood against time ”, counted then.

Yesterday, in the Cannes press room, after achieving La Palma with a film starring a family that has been formed by abandoned people who initially find their salvation plan in that nucleus, he said: “For me, the family works when you have the desire to share time. And yes, sometimes a bond can be created that surpasses the biological one. ” Shoplifters – a reference to the small thefts they make in that family to survive – contains some detail of Kore-eda’s own life: “I also had a treasure box in my childhood, my private space in the small flat in Tokyo in we lived. But luckily we never shoplifted. ” After works like Milagro (2011), the aforementioned Of such a father, such a son, Our little sister (2015) and After the storm (2016), last year he directed a thriller, The third murder, with which he pointed to a change. “I have decided to close a cycle,” he said at the Venice festival. In vain. He has returned to his films “with different characters of different ages to radiograph all generations”, he has recovered the children, whom he never teaches the scripts, but whispers their sentences just before shouting action so that they “enjoy of acting. ” Kore-eda has returned to Kore-eda. As he said last night: “I am inspired by my feelings, there is no more powerful engine.”

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