Lee Chang-Dong or the art of being moved
An overwhelming and memorable first time
In 2003, the Critics' Week selected Oasis, by Korean Director Chang-Dong, for the Newcomer of the Year. A magnificent film about love, otherness, humanity and integrity.
Lee Chang-Dong has become a regular at the Cannes Film Festival since then: in 2010 his film Mother was presented in pre-release. In 2009 he was a member of the Palme d’Or jury and Poetry received the prize for the best scene. In 2007 Secret Sunshine won the prize for best actress and this year he will be the president of the Caméra d’Or jury and of the Grand Prix Nespresso in the Critics’ Week… However, 8 years on, the memory of the selection of Oasis by the Critics’ Week in 2003 always has a particular meaning for this film maker. His presentation at a special meeting with the title of Newcomer of the Year, was for him an overwhelming moment which gave him great recognition.
Cannes or introspection
When the film was presented at Cannes in 2003, those who selected it had no idea that the idea for this film had begun 3 years earlier in the same place, on the Croisette. When Lee Chang-Dong presented Peppermint Candy in 2000, he became acquainted with the Cannes Film Festival, this world, the films, the posters, the starts…he had the feeling of being at the heart of a machine selling dreams and fantasies. So he asked himself what dream, what fantasy did he want to project to this universe, how could he become a part of it himself. These questions about his identity as a film maker led him to direct Oasis, a sad, beautiful and moving film, a fantasy which reminds us of our own experiences of love, grief and loneliness.
Beyond the ceremonial red carpet, the camera flashes, the tuxedos and the evening gowns, Cannes is all the opportunity, through the Critics’ Week, to facilitate meetings between those who watch cinema and those who make it. This selection brings a warmth to the festival, something which is lacking from the official selection and is, above all, a great opportunity for young directors to be in the spotlight.