The celebration of French film continues in full swing in Tokyo, with, as its corollary, the moving and bizarre clusters of young women and men who hold out their autograph books for the members of the delegation to sign. Danièle Thompson would sign them in the hotel foyer right up until the moment she had to leave for the airport for her return flight home, even though she had her hands full with her baggage.
The same morning, she was very moved by the hugely warm reception Cézanne and I was given by the Japanese spectators, great fans of culture and art, who were more than willing to watch the story about the friendship between a French painter and writer. Discussion, autographs, and a big smile in response to the many smiles she received from the Japanese fans.
In the afternoon, Jean-Paul Salomé, the president of UniFrance, here for a few more days, introduced From the Land of the Moon to yet another full house, standing in for the film's director, Nicole Garcia, who was finally unable to travel to the event. And the Asahi Hall screen remained French with Agnus Dei / The Innocents, introduced by Anne Fontaine and Lou de Laâge.
Meanwhile, the truly indefatigable Isabelle Huppert gave a master class at the magnificent, 150-year-old Waseda University, where Shohei Imamura and Hirokazu Horeada, among others, studied. Huppert evoked, through several extracts from her filmography, the great filmmakers with whom she's worked: Chabrol, Hartley, Godard, Haneke, Cimino... Paul Verhoeven also gave a master class, this time at the Film School of Tokyo, where many fans of the "violent Dutchman" came together to see one of the great masters of the thriller.
In the evening, Édouard Baer, who was nervous at the idea of introducing Open at Night to a full house (despite a memorable autograph session earlier), had everyone eating out of his hand right from the beginning, when he said that "French people dream of only one thing, to live up to what Japanese people have the right to expect of them." An outburst of laughter, Edouard hugged the translator in front of the betwitched audience, then ran up between the rows of seats, his arms open wide, calling out "hup, hup, hup!"