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Mamoru Hosoda's Belle Receives 14-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

posted on by Choo Sum Lee
Film reportedly received among the longest applause in the festival's history

Mamoru Hosoda's latest film, BELLE (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, literally "The Dragon and the Freckled Princess"), has reportedly received a 14-minute-long standing ovation by its audience following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

The prestigious film festival has a reputation for long standing ovation times. According to a list compiled by Quartz in 2019 based on contemporary news reports, BELLE's standing ovation would be among the longest to be reported on in the festival's history, ahead of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and behind Nadine Labaki's Capernaum and Lee Daniels' The Paperboy. (Quartz notes that the list is not comprehensive, and is only a sampling of some of the films whose applause lengths were documented at the time.)

BELLE had been selected for the Cannes Premiere section at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, and had its global premiere at the festival on July 15. This marks the first Official Selection at the festival for Hosoda (the director's previous film Mirai was selected for Cannes' Directors' Fortnight, an independent section held in parallel to the festival, in 2018). After the screening concluded to rapturous applause, Hosoda, who was not originally scheduled for a post-screening speech, expressed his heartfelt thanks to the audience.

"I was really relieved for BELLE to be seen by the audience for the first time in the world and to receive so much applause as well. I think this film has a unique flavor even among the Cannes Film Festival selections, but to have it supported in this place where people who love film gather is very encouraging and gives me strength. This film is a blessing," Hosoda remarked after the screening.

BELLE also marks the 10th anniversary of Hosoda's animation studio Studio Chizu. Chizu describes the story:

Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age.

She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother's death was no longer able to sing.

It wasn't long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world.

When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as “U,” where she takes on her persona, Belle.

Another me. Another reality. We are no longer limited to a single world.

Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside “U” as her avatar, Belle, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of “U.”

Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her...

BELLE opened in Japan on July 16, and is the first of Hosoda's films to receive IMAX screenings. GKIDS licensed the film for North America, and will release the film in English and in Japanese with English subtitles this winter.

Source: Mantan web


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