Fifty years' worth of cinema, a half century of images: Fredi M. Murer's career is undoubtedly among those that shine the brightest in Switzerland. Therefore, the Locarno Film Festival can only be happy and proud to celebrate the master of national cinema with the 2019 Pardo alla carriera.
Fredi Murer is a director, a screenwriter, a photographer and an illustrator, and left an indelible mark on Swiss filmmaking from the 1960s onwards. His films told the story of Switzerland, reflected it, inquired about its traditions with an innovative outlook. He put Switzerland at the center of a long discussion with the audience, via images. In one fell swoop, the dark movie theater played host to the public and to the people. His vision was always supported by a political and civil commitment that allowed us to see the world, and Switzerland, with a new set of eyes. The Locarno Film Festival discovered this vision in 1979, with the film Zones. This is therefore the fortieth anniversary of the Festival's friendship with Murer, an occasion to celebrate with the world premiere of the new restored version, supervised by the Cinémathèque suisse.
The tribute to Murer will in fact be a genuine rediscovery. In addition to Zones, three more restored films will be shown under a new light during Locarno72: Wir Bergler in den Bergen sind eigentlich nicht schuld, dass wir da sind (1974), one of his most important works, which won the FIPRESCI Prize in Locarno in 1974; Der grüne Berg (1990), which screened at the very first edition of the Semaine de la critique, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year; and Alpine Fire, which received the Pardo d'oro in 1985.
Murer is an illustrator as well as a director, screenwriter and photographer, and the tribute will be rounded off by an exhibit of his original artworks.
Lili Hinstin, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “In addition to everything else the Locarno Film Festival is always a showcase for Swiss film of all periods, past, present and future. By representing his contemporaries, imagining the possibly dark future of his country and listening to the stories of those who live in its most remote corners, Fredi M. Murer played with time, that is, with his art and his era. In portraying Switzerland, Murer redrew the confines of Swiss cinema. I am delighted to honor one of the great Swiss directors during my first edition of the Festival."
Fredi M. Murer will receive the Pardo alla carriera in Piazza Grande on the evening of 15 August. On Friday 16 August at 1.30 pm Festival-goers can attend a panel discussion with the filmmaker in the Spazio Cinema.
Winners of Locarno's Pardo alla carriera at previous Festivals include Francesco Rosi, Claude Goretta, Bruno Ganz, Claudia Cardinale, Johnnie To, Harry Belafonte, Peter-Christian Fueter, Sergio Castellitto, Victor Erice, Marlen Khutsiev, Bulle Ogier, Mario Adorf and Jane Birkin.