Question: What do you get when you ask three masters of non-mainstream cinema to make a movie about Tokyo? Answer: A film that defies categorization. Notorious boundary pusher Bong Joon Ho has a hermit break free of the life he knows. Perpetual dreamer Michel Gondry deconstructs a fresh relationship in a fantastical way. And Leos Carax provokes the residents of Tokyo with a grotesque figure who breaks more taboos than any language on earth can handle. Three directors, three visions of a cosmopolitan city coming apart at the seams and the people who live in it, searching for the last bit of meaning among chairs, stacks of pizzas, and earthquakes.
Meet the director
Bong Joon Ho, Michel Gondry, Leos Carax
Born in Daegu, South Korea, in 1969, Bong Joon Ho (1st photo) studied psychology at Yonsei University in Seoul before completing a two-year program at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. His first feature film, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE, about a university lecturer who kidnaps undesirable dogs, was critically acclaimed and shown at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN in 2001. His breakthrough came with his second film, MEMORIES OF MURDER (2003), about a real series of murders. The satirical monster movie THE HOST (2006) and the science-fiction film SNOWPIERCER (2013) with its international cast drew more than nine million moviegoers each in South Korea, placing them both among the 20 most successful films of all time in that country. Bong's latest film, PARASITE (2019), which is showing this year in the CineMasters section at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, was awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.
Leos Carax (2nd photo) was born Alexandre Oscar Dupont in Suresnes, France, in 1960. He was a film critic before he started making films under the name Leos Carax — an anagram of his names Alex and Oscar. His first feature film was the romantic drama BOY MEETS GIRL (1984). Even then, Denis Lavant was in the lead role, as he would be many times since, including in the thriller MAUVAIS SANG (1986), the drama THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE (1991), and HOLY MOTORS (FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2012), a surreal homage to cinema.
Michel Gondry (3rd photo) was born in Versailles, France, in 1963. He first made a name for himself with music videos for a range of artists, including eight for Icelandic singer Björk. His first feature film, HUMAN NATURE (FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2002), which is set at a police station, in Congress, and in the hereafter, demonstrated his cinematic idiosyncrasy. His breakthrough came with ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004), about a couple that want to erase their memories of each other after they break up; like his first film, the screenplay to this one was written by Charlie Kaufman. Gondry's later works include the playfully surreal tragicomedy THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP (2006) and MOOD INDIGO (2013) as well as the coming-of-age comedy MICROBE & GASOLINE (2015).