Home » At Cannes they find ‘Perfect Days’ “unique and original”

At Cannes they find ‘Perfect Days’ “unique and original”

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Toilet cleaner Hirayama (Kōji Yakusho) during a quiet moment in ‘Perfect Days’ by Wim Wenders. — © Paradiso Films

Can a film about a toilet cleaner be fascinating? Wim Wenders tried it out in Perfect Days and surprised many cinephiles, even though he barely tells a story. What is the secret of the film?

Tuesday 28 November 2023 at 03:00

When Perfect Days was included in the Cannes competition, the festival director said: “A story about someone cleaning toilets in Tokyo: that is unique and original. It just has to be included.” But this is a film by 78-year-old Wim Wenders (Golden Palm Paris Texas), the German filmmaker who avoids a conventional story in all his films. Prefect Days shows the daily routine of Hirayama, a man who carefully makes public toilets user-friendly. That’s what you have to do.

(Continue reading below the trailer)

Annoying? No, because Wenders turns it into a character study. Hirayama is an enigmatic character, a Zen intellectual who loves literature and music. You wonder why this intelligent man practices this profession. Wenders gives us a little insight into his past, but Hirayama remains a mystery. At the same time, this makes him fascinating, especially because he is serenely played by the Japanese veteran Kōji Yakusho, who deservedly won the best actor prize at Cannes. Brave, sweet, quiet arthouse that makes you feel good.

‘Perfect Days’ will be in theaters from November 29.

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