Strengthening even more its standing as this year’s Cannes Competition frontrunner, South Korean Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” starring “The Walking Dead’s” Steven Yeun, snagged the Fipresci International Critics’ Prize for best film in the section.
An unconventional thriller and tale of amour fou, “Burning” is already something of a Cannes 2018 legend scoring the highest mark ever on a much-consulted Cannes international critics’ poll. Whether that holds any weight at all with Cannes Cate Blanchett jury will be revealed in just over one hour.
The Fipresci jury, led by France’s Michel Ciment, gave the award to “Burning” as a “visually stunning film and an emotionally complex comment on contemporary society.”
In other plaudits from the jury of the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci), Lukas Dhont’s “Girl” took the nod for best film in Un Certain Regard; and “One Day,” directed by Zsófa Szilagyi, was chosen by the Fipresci jury as best movie in either Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week.
The Fipresci recognition for “Girl” represents the second prize in 24-hours for the film after its lead, Victor Polster, won best actor at Un Certain Regard prize announcement on Friday. “This story of a teenage boy who dreams of being a ballerina marks a stunning debut for both director Lukas Dhont and star Victor Polster,” Variety commented in a review.
Szilagyi’s Critics’ Week player “One Day” was praised by the jury for “the precise camera work and the powerful mise-en-scène [that] convey the extraordinary intensity and tension of an utterly ordinary situation with feeling, humor and drama.”
Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” won a special mention in the Ecumenical Awards, won by Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum.”
For Labaki, the trophy is the second Ecumenical plaudit in a row, after her film before “Capernaum,” ·2016’s “Where Do We Go Now,” world premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, won a special mention from the Ecumenical jury.
Delivering the longest of acceptance speeches at the joint Fipresci-Ecumenical Awards ceremony in Cannes on Saturday afternoon, musician-composer Khaled Manzanar, “Capernaum” producer, and Labaki’s husband, quoted French novelist André Gide: “I don’t believe in the power of the multitude, the word will be saved by just a few.”
“Capernaum” turns on the travails of children in Beirut’s slums. Manzanar went on to say that he hoped Gide was wrong, that solidarity and help between people can change things.
Fahime Nafir contributed to this article
INTERNATIONAL CRITICS’ PRIZES, CANNES 2018
“Burning,” (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)
UN CERTAIN REGARD
“Girl,” (Lukas Dhont, Belgium, Netherlands)
DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT/CRITICS WEEK
“One Day” (Zsófa Szilagyi, Hungary)