Umimachi Diary offers time to reflect after Mad Max fury at Cannes

Thu May 14, 2015 12:58pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Umimachi Diary" (Our Little Sister), a slow, poetic look at time passing, is the perfect antidote to the adrenaline shot that "Mad Max: Fury Road" gave the Cannes Festival just before the competition effectively started on Thursday.

While George Miller's opus, which was screened out of competition, is the ultimate action film, "Umimachi Diary" tells the story of three sisters and their half-sister in Japan and echoes the work of the late Yasujiro Ozu.

"One needs to step back to look at how time goes by. In this way my work is similar to Ozu's," Kore-eda told a news conference ahead of the film's premiere on La Croisette.

"It's a story on character and time that passes."

Three sisters living in the old city of Kamakura travel to the funeral of their estranged father and invite their younger half-sister to live with them.

"It's a beautiful film, classically Japanese in terms of lifestyle. It depicts the beauty of the seasons. I'm eager to see how it will be welcomed in the West," said lead actress Ayase Haruka.

Kore-eda's previous film, "Like Father, Like Son", got a warm reception at Cannes two years ago as it won the Jury Prize.

He will be in fierce competition this year with a director he looks up to, Taiwan's Hou Hsiao Hsien, who presents "The Assassin" at Cannes.   Continued...

(L-R) Director Hirokazu Koreeda, cast members Masami Nagasawa, Suzu Hirose, Haruka Ayase and Kaho pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film "Our Little Sister" (aka Umimachi Diary) in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 14, 2015.           REUTERS/Regis Duvignau