CANNES, France — Associated Press journalists open their notebooks at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival:
Will a switched-at-birth Japanese drama tug on Steven Spielberg’s heart strings?
The Cannes Film Festival was wondering that Saturday, when Kore-eda Hirokazu’s elegant and emotional “Like Father, Like Son” premiered. It quickly emerged as an early contender for the Palme d’Or, the winner of which will be decided by a jury headed by Spielberg.
Though reviews varied, “Like Father, Like Son” largely charmed Cannes with its sweet, understated examination of nature versus nurture.
In it, two sets of parents find out, shortly before their sons’ 6th birthday, that their babies were switched at birth. The families are opposites of one another: one headed by a wealthy, driven professional (the Japanese pop singer Fukuyama Masaharu) with strict expectations of his only child; the other father a poor but lively shopkeeper (Lily Franky) with two other playful children.
With the graceful simplicity that characterizes Kore-eda’s films ("I Wish,” ‘’Nobody Knows"), the film contemplates the nature of parenthood — where it begins, how it develops — as the two families debate exchanging their sons.
“He told me the film was the story of how to become a father,” Fukuyama told reporters Saturday, referring to Kore-eda. The film focuses on the actor’s character, as he slowly begins to question his hard, removed approach to fatherhood.
“I wanted to create in his mind a real shock, a healthy shock,” said Kore-eda.
The director said the film, which ends ambiguously, wasn’t made to convey a message, but to reflect his own experiences. Kore-eda has a son similar in age to the boys in the film.
Spielberg has long gravitated to stories of fathers and sons, but whether “Like Father, Like Son” struck a chord with him won’t be answered until the Palme d’Or is announced May 25 at the end of the festival.
— Jake Coyle, http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
REV RUN, KING OF ... DJs?
Rev Run is one of hip-hop’s legendary rappers, but these days, he’s spinning records — and is finding the experience may be even more enjoyable than rapping.
“I love the Run-DMC shows: it’s big, it’s intense,” he said in an interview on Friday. “Me and (partner) D (Darryl “DMC” McDaniels) know the lyrics like riding a bike because we’ve been doing it since we were kids. But this is different. This is fun. I’m in Vegas every other week.
“It’s very cool to be a DJ,” he added. “I’m a part of that and proud of that and thankful for that — that I can do a stadium one day and be in Cannes the next day.”
Run was at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday night to perform at the Belvedere Vodka party with his partner, DJ Ruckus. Among the celebrities in attendance for the party included “Hunger Games” star Liam Hemsworth, singer Solange Knowles and DJ/producer Diplo.
In an interview a few hours before the show, Run said that he started DJ’ing about three years ago when people started asking him to show up to parties. Though he does rap some during his sets, he doesn’t do too much:
“I’m not going to go out and do Run-DMC records without d. I’ll throw on a Run-DMC record and throw on my part a little bit, you’ll get the essence,” he said. “I’m a celebrity DJ.”
Ruckus said he has learned a lot from Run — “It’s obviously an honor to be on the road and have such a mentor and legend and somebody who helped create all of what I worked with.”
And Run said he’s learned from his younger counterpart as well
“I don’t know all that’s going on with all of these different genres of EDM (electronic dance music). Like, I don’t know the difference between Berlin and (David) Guetta. Like, ‘Huh? Aren’t they both house DJs?’ ‘No, they’re not.’ So I’m trying to learn from him,” he said. “I don’t know what the heck is going on. . I’m learning that from him, but I’m happy and open and excited about it. “
Run hasn’t given up his day job: next week, he’s performing at the Atlanta Braves’ baseball stadium with partner McDaniels for a Run-DMC gig after the team’s game. He’s also planning a return to reality TV, with an HGTV show showing the renovation of his home with his family.
“If you’ve seen ‘Run’s House,’ you know what it’s going to be. It’s the same thing, but with a twist,” he said.
— Nekesa Mumbi Moody, http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi
JACKIE CHAN HAS HIS NEXT FILMS LINED UP — ALL IN HIS MIND
Jackie Chan is at the Cannes Film Festival to talk about his upcoming film “Skiptrace,” but he’s already thinking about his next project.
“You know everything in my mind always keep, keep, keep (moving),” he said in an interview Friday. “This movie (I had the idea) 20 years ago. So I have so many movies, 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, 70 years, all in my mind. Then I call my writer, ‘Write it down! That’s your job, write it down this script. Write it down this thing.’ So many things.”
Chan doesn’t just have movies he’s working on. He’s also got his own brand of toe socks; during an interview, he was wearing a bright green pair. The socks have pressure points and grips on the bottom for each pair.
But unfortunately for anyone interested in getting a pair, according to Chan, they are yet to have global distribution.
“Not now, soon,” he said.
— Louise Dixon, http://www.twitter.com/loudixon
FEELING LIKE THE ETERNAL BRIDE ON RED CARPETS
Indian actress Sonam Kapoor loves red carpets. In fact, she loves the experience so much that she likens it to a wedding.
“It is really strange, but I feel like every time I go onto the red carpet I feel like I am getting married,” she said with a laugh.
“So it is fine if I don’t get married eventually,” she added with a wry smile.
For some, the experience of picking an outfit and standing in front of the world’s media is a daunting prospect, but Kapoor, being an actress at heart, treats the carpet like a stage.
“It depends on what character I want to be, so it is a bit like choosing your roles and deciding what I want to be at that point,” she explained in an interview this week.
Kapoor is in Cannes to fulfill her duty as an ambassador for L’Oreal. She has no films at the festival, but has a lot to keep her busy in the future.
“I have three films right now: ‘Ranjhana’ which literally translates into Romeo, then there is this biopic which is about an athlete and there is this untitled project which is a romantic comedy,” she said.