Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 The Carrosse d'Or (Golden Coach)

The Carrosse d’Or Prize has been awarded since 2002 by the filmmakers of the Société des réalisateurs de films (SRF) to honor one of their own during Cannes Film Festival.  The Carrosse d'Or is a bronze statuette inspired by the figures of the Comedia dell'Arte and Jean Renoir's film of the same name – it was created by painter-sculptor Lili Legouvello.  The recipient is chosen from the international filmmaking community for the innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness of his or her work.

Since its creation in 2002, this prize has been given to Jacques Rozier, Clint Eastwood, Nanni Moretti, Sembene Ousmane, David Cronenberg, Alain Cavalier, Jim Jarmusch, Naomie Kawasé, Agnès Varda, Jafar Panahi, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jane Campion and Alain Resnais.

In 2015, the SRF is awarding this prize to none other than one of my favorite filmmakers, Six Generation master filmmaker Jia Zhangke.

Here is an extract of the letter sent to Jia Zhangke by the SRF board of directors: Stéphane Brizé, Laurent Cantet, Malik Chibane, Catherine Corsini, Frédéric Farrucci, Pascale Ferran, Denis Gheerbrant, Esther Hoffenberg, Cédric Klapisch, Héléna Klotz, Sébastien Lifshitz, Anna Novion, Katell Quillévéré, Christophe Ruggia, Pierre Salvadori, Céline Sciamma and Jan Sitta.

"We are captivated by the boldness of your body of works. Your ability to capture the constant changes in Chinese society, to show its corruption and violence, clearly and concisely, your commitment to younger generations, resonate within each of us. Yours films are visuals poems, with the precision of each shot offering a constant reflexion. We would like to acknowledge the committed, independent, poetic and visionary artistry. Each of your film is precious for its insight into Chinese society but also into the solitude and spiritual journey present in humanity. You are the witness of these lives."

I couldn't agree more, especially when they call his films "visual poems" as most of them are truly breathtaking with awesome visuals in the most outstanding realistic way and remember that visual poetry does not usually mix well with realistic style, but that's one of the things that propels Jia Zhangke to cinema stratosphere.  My truthful congratulations go to Jia Zhangke for his latest and most prestigious honor.

The honor will be presented to Jia Zhangke during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) on Thursday, May 14 at Théâtre Croisette. In the afternoon and preceding the award ceremony, there will be a screening of his 2001 film 站台 Zhantai (Platform) followed by a masterclass.

To read announcement at official SRF site go here, available only in French but browse down for English press release in pdf file.

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