THE LOCARNO FILM FESTIVAL, WITH ITS INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, STARTS AN HOT (AND NOT JUST BECAUSE OF TROPICAL CLIMATE) 69th EDITION FROM AUGUST 3RD TO 13TH.
Ticino, the only Swiss canton where the language of Dante reigns supreme (unless you count a tiny part of the luxuriant Grisons), saw the birth of one of the most important film events in Europe. We have to admit that the stunning beauty of the natural landscape between lake and mountains and the Piazza Grande, with its amazing large screen of 26 meters in length and 14 in height have greatly contributed to the fame of the festival.
Despite the postcard view, movies have always been the undisputed protagonists of Locarno film festival, which always focuses on the discovery of new talents as well as being an international showcase for confirmed directors. Among the artists discovered during these nearly seventy years of existence we can mention Mike Leigh, Gus Van Sant, Calire Denis, Jim Jarmusch or even Gregg Araki.
For the 69th edition, the artistic director Carlo Chatrian has bet on a lightweight programming, but by no means naive or superficial. The wind is the theme of an event that symbolizes the diversity and lightness, an invitation to fight against indifference and violence of a world that wants us to separate rather than become closer, with the aim to cross borders to show what lurks are hidden beyond the concrete walls (real or imaginary).
Michael Cimino and Abbas Kiarostami are the biggest names of this edition, symbols of a beloved film scene in Locarno: close, so close to reality where “small” everyday stories through cinema become great moments (both from a human and aesthetic point of view). A surprising program for a “cutting-edge, political and poetic, visionary and counter festival” to use the words of Chatrian.
With 17 films in competition, we find productions from Thailand, Bulgaria, Egypt, Portugal, Argentina and United States. Strong movies where the protagonists seem constantly on the move, from one place to another, from one time to another space, as if a secret force constantly pushed them forward, with courage and determination. Emblematic “Marija” by Swiss Michael Koch, “The idea of a lake” of Swiss-Argentine director Milagros Mumenthaler or “Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces” by Yousry Nasrallah in which the movement is quite entrusted to seduction.
Piazza Grande is crossed by a refreshing breeze that accompanies anticipated films like “Jason Bourne” blockbuster Paul Greengrass with Matt Damon but especially art films of big names such as “I, Daniel Blake,” the always surprising Ken Loach , “Moka” by Frédéric Mermoud and “Endless Poetry” by Alejandro Jodorowsky and lesser-known names but no less interesting as the director Gilles Marchand who will present his latest intriguing effort “Into the Forest” or Marie-Castille Mention-Schaaril with its very contemporary “Heaven Will Wait”.
Among the most anticipated films and intriguing find for the filmmakers of this category we include “Still Life” of the young French director Maude Alps, “The Nest” with promising Ondina Pictures, directed by Klaudia Reinycke; “Jean Ziegler, the Optimism of Willpower,” the last-awaited documentary of the great Nicolas Wadimoff (out of competition), or the touching documentary by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Yann Coridan “A Young Girl in Her Nineties” (out of competition).
Let the breeze carrie us away, free, if only for a moment.