Wim Wenders’ Japan-Set Perfect Days Has Buyers Circling in Cannes

Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days” is a scorching property in Cannes, and it’s but to even premiere.

Several consumers are at present circling the Japan-set, music-infused title from grasp filmmaker Wenders, which bows in competitors on Thursday. Sources inform Variety that events up to now embody Utopia, MUBI, Magnolia, Sideshow and Janus Films and Sony Pictures Classics.

Wenders’ “Perfect Days” follows Tokyo rest room cleaner Hirayama, who appears content material along with his easy life. Outside of his on a regular basis routine, he enjoys his ardour for books and, specifically, for music. Over the course of the movie, a sequence of surprising encounters steadily reveal extra of his previous.

“Memoirs of a Geisha” star Koji Yakusho — whom some critics have tipped as a contender for Cannes’ greatest actor prize on Saturday — leads the solid as Hirayama. He additionally co-starred in “Babel,” a movie that was honored by the Cannes Film Festival and earned Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

Wenders, who can also be at Cannes with a documentary on German artist Anselm Kiefer, beforehand revealed that “Perfect Days” makes use of solely supply music to convey Hirayama’s favourite songs. The title “Perfect Days” is itself a reference to the traditional Lou Reed tune “Perfect Day,” and it’s understood the movie options songs by the likes of Van Morrison, Otis Redding and Patti Smith.

Given the pic’s musical bent, a U.S. frontrunner might emerge in Utopia, which has been carving out a reputation for itself in music-centric films, and could also be a very good match. The distributor, arrange by filmmaker and musician Robert Schwartzman, purchased rock doc “Meet Me in the Bathroom” final yr, and is at present in submit on a movie about British Invasion band “The Zombies.”

Another robust chief is indie distributor and streamer MUBI, which in early 2022 purchased The Match Factory, the German gross sales agent buying the movie, although the 2 firms have all the time claimed a church-and-state arrange. Sony Pictures Classics additionally has current kind for edgy tales set in Asia — the corporate purchased Davy Chou’s “Return to Seoul” final yr forward of its Cannes world premiere.

Variety understands that Match Factory, which is promoting the movie, warned potential consumers early on that the gross sales course of might take time. The film has Japanese financiers (producers embody Tokyo’s Master Mind and Spoon, alongside Wenders Images) which have requested detailed distribution displays from consumers forward of creating any selections.

The gross sales market is lastly heating up in Cannes, the place it’s been deathly quiet all week — Netflix swooped for Todd Haynes’ buzzy “May December” for $11 million, whereas Neon picked up French director Justine Triet’s Hitchcockian courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.” It’s clear that consumers are being further cautious as a consequence of making an attempt financial circumstances. A sluggish U.S. specialty market can also be prompting extra vigilance across the varieties of flicks which can be acquired, with consumers looking out for titles with built-in hooks, conceits or star energy that can translate on the large display.

Wenders’ worldwide breakthrough got here with “The American Friend” (1977), an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel. Since then, he has been honored with numerous awards at festivals world wide, together with the Golden Lion at Venice for “The State of Things” (1982); the Palme d’Or at Cannes and a BAFTA for “Paris, Texas” (1984); the director’s prize in Cannes for “Wings of Desire” (1987); and the Silver Bear for “The Million Dollar Hotel” (2000) at Berlin.

His documentary movies “Buena Vista Social Club” (1999), “Pina” (2011), and “The Salt of the Earth” (2014) have all been nominated for an Oscar.

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