20 juillet 2024

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Cannes Film Festival: “Perfect Days”, by Wim Wenders, in the running for a prize

Wim Wenders offers us a moving and poetic reflection on the search for beauty in everyday life, with this deeply sensitive and human story.

Wim Wenders offers us a moving and poetic reflection on the search for beauty in everyday life, with this deeply sensitive and human story.

The feature film which marks the return of the German filmmaker to Cannes, awarded gold in 1984 with “Paris, Texas”, remains a little too clean, the panegyric of the public toilets in the Shibuya district, in the Japanese capital, such as they were very recently renovated by the project “The Tokyo Toilet” (the main character, whose job is to clean them, wears the logo on his overalls).

Between Wim Wenders and Japan, it’s a love story that lasts, more than 38 years after his magnificent documentary in tribute to Ozu, Tokyo-Ga, the director returned to film the Japanese capital for a fiction. Perfect Days, in competition at Cannes, was born from a commission sent to the German filmmaker to highlight social projects with high added architectural value.

The daily routine of the character Hirayama, played by the great actor Koji Yakusho, in his fifties, employed by the city of Tokyo to clean public toilets in the Shibuya district. He therefore fervently bricks the basins and the parishioners all day long, in a well-regulated, solitary and taciturn manner, but not devoid of the contemplative pleasures of strolling and music.

The film therefore inventories and details with passion the toilets in question, cutting-edge works by contemporary architects and designers. Each toilet has a geometric shape, emphasizing the splendor, making them attractive but also complex, like a glass cube that becomes opaque when the lock is turned, hiding the user from the view of the street, another is a pure white ball , or evokes a forest of trunks, others are cylindrical, square, refined, complex, etc. The director seems to have tied up a little story for the occasion around these prototypes, objects of his fascination.

The Hirayama character, he imagines what Paris would look like with such an architecture of sanitary units, message sent to Anne Hidalgo, for the decorative layout of each space according to the architecture of each tourist point.

And this message does not seem to be a coincidence, considering that Paris is in full renovation for the summer olympic games which will take place in Paris in 2024, they seem to be a source of inspiration for the town hall of Paris.

The globe-trotting filmmaker still films the streets of Tokyo just as well, his dramaturgy and psychological explanation have something relaxing about him, and his marvelous actor, Kōji Yakusho, in an almost silent role, has a crazy charisma.

The long and very beautiful final sequence shot in a van on his sunny face with a setting twilight as the brass resonate in Nina Simone’s Feeling Good makes him a serious contender for the Best Actor Award.

Copyright ©2023 IMPACT EUROPEAN

Copyright ©2023 IMPACT EUROPEAN

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