Paweł Pawlikowski Wins Best Director At Cannes 2018
default, Paweł Pawlikowski holding his Best Director Award in Cannes, 19.05.2018, photo: Regis Duvignau/REUTERS/Forum, pawlikowski_cannes_reuters_forum.jpg
The director of Cold War (Zimna Wojna) has won Best Director at the 71st edition of the Cannes International Film Festival. It's the most impressive Cannes success for Polish cinema since The Pianist won the Palmes D'Or in 2002.
Pawlikowski is the first Pole to win the prestigious Cannes award. Receiving his award, the director of Cold War dedicated it to the late Janusz Głowacki, the co-writer of the film's script.
Cold War competed at Cannes along with twenty other rival productions from all over the world, including Capernaum directed by Nadine Labaki, Dogman by Matteo Garrone, and the Russian production Summer by Kirill Serebrennikov. The films in the main competition were assessed by a jury led by actress Cate Blanchett, including Chang Chen, Ava DuVernay, Robert Guédiguian, Khadja Nin, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Denis Villeneuve and Andriej Zwiagincew.
The Palme D'Or this year went to Kore-Eda Hirozaku's film Shoplifters. The Grand Prix, the second most important award, went to Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. The Jury Award went to Nadine Labaki for Capernaum, while a special award was given to Jean-Luc Godard for Image Book.
A minimalist melodrama
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Still from the film Cold War directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, starring Borys Szyc & Jeanne Balibar, photo: promo materials
Cold War is the story of an unusual romance that develops during the 1950s and 60s. The central characters are musicians: Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), a sedate intellectual and composer, and Zula (Joanna Kulig), a lively girl from the provinces with big career aspirations. Pawlikowski shows how they meet but the film moves away from typical melodramatic formulas and linear narration. The proceeding scenes shuffle viewers through time, allowing them to take part in the following chapters of their shared history and fill in the blanks separating later events.
Called the 'twin' of Pawlikowski's Oscar-winning Ida thanks to another appearance by Łukasza Żal's black-and-white cinematography, the music links folk traditions and jazz, sung poetry and instrumental arrangements to create a soundtrack that enchanted the Cannes critics and audiences alike.
A media favourite
Ida - Paweł Pawlikowski
After the first couple screenings at Cannes, Cold War was already being pegged as a favourite to win something big. The Independent's Geoffrey McNab called it:
A glorious throwback – a film made with a verve and lyricism which rekindles memories of the glory days of European New Wave cinema.
Vox's Alissa Wilkinson said Cold War was:
Undoubtedly one of the best films in the festival...
Meanwhile, The Economist's Prospero blog noted that:
It’s one of those rare films that you could pause at random at any moment, and have an image that’s striking enough to put on the poster.
Various reviews gave glowing praise to both cinematographer Łukasz Żal and the composer Marcin Masecki, as well as the pair in the main role – Tim Robey of The Telegraph compared Joanna Kulig to Jeanne Moreau, while others complimented the restrained dramatic performance of Tomasz Kot.
Marcin Masecki - From the Classics to Electro Pop - Video
Cold War was not the only Polish picture at the 71st edition of Cannes. The 2018 programme included six other films with links to Poland. In the main competition alongside Pawlikowski's picture was Sergey Dvortsevoy's Ayka, which features cinematography by Jolanta Dylewska, while the short film competition included III by Marta Pajek among its eight contestants. When it came to animation, among those competing for the Cinéfondation prize was The Other by Marta Magnuska from the Łódź Film School.
The Lure directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska - Image Gallery
Included in the International Critics' Week section was the premiere of Fugue by Agnieszki Smoczyńskiej, director of the much-lauded horror musical The Lure, while the Un Certain Regard section presented the Polish co-production The Harvesters by Etienne Kallos.
Another Day of Life – animation film about Ryszard Kapuściński – Image Gallery
cannes film festival
But one of the most long-awaited Polish events of this year's Cannes was the premiere of Another Day of Life directed by Damiana Nenowa i Raúla de la Fuente, an animation-documentary hybrid inspired by the famous reportage journalist Ryszard Kapuściński.
Originally written in Polish, May 2018, translated and adapted by AZ