German director, scriptwriter, producer and actor Werner Herzog will be awarded the Pardo d’onore Swisscom at the 66th Festival del film Locarno (7-17 August 2013). To mark the occasion, in addition to screenings of a selection of his films and the awards ceremony on the Piazza Grande, Herzog will take part in a conversation with Grazia Paganelli, co-author of a study of the filmmaker, which will be open to the public.
Werner Herzog, one of the most important figures in German and international cinema, achieved recognition with his very first feature-length film, Signs of Life (Lebenszeichen, Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival in 1968 for Best First Film). Aguirre, Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes, 1972) saw the start of his love-hate relationship with Klaus Kinski, who also featured in Fitzcarraldo (1982, Directing Prize at Cannes) and Nosferatu the Vampyre (Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, 1979). Herzog has also established an outstanding reputation in documentary film, with his portrait of Klaus Kinski, My Best Fiend (Mein liebster Feind – Klaus Kinski, 1999), and such successes as Grizzly Man (2005) and Encounters at the End of the World (2007, nominated for an Oscar).
Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian comments that he is «delighted to be able to welcome to Locarno a filmmaker who embodies the spirit of the Festival so well: over the course of his long career, Herzog has proved adept at moving between fiction and documentary, low-budget productions and films featuring major stars but without ever losing a clear sense of identity. If awards are not only recognitions but also a way of signaling the future, I think that Werner Herzog is the most appropriate person to signpost the way forward the Festival wishes to take. A notion of cinema as an act that both involves and radically affects those who make it and those who see it. An act that requires a firm will and an equally precise taking of position. That same determination which led Herzog to leave his Bavarian mountain village to travel the world and convey the experiences he has lived, shared, and imagined.»
The ten films to be screened to accompany the award of the Pardo d’onore Swisscom to Werner Herzog are:
• Even Dwarves Started Small (Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen, 1970)
• Aguirre, Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes, 1972)
• The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle, 1974)
• Nosferatu the Vampyre (Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, 1979)
• Fitzcarraldo (1982)
• Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen, 1984)
• The White Diamond (2004)
• Grizzly Man (2005)
• The Wild Blue Yonder (2005)
• My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)
The Pardo d’onore, supported by Swisscom for the fifth consecutive year, is an award given by the Festival del film in tribute to major contemporary film auteurs. Previous recipients have included those of such stature as Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Paul Verhoeven, Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami, William Friedkin, JIA Zhang-ke, Alain Tanner, Abel Ferrara and, in 2012, Leos Carax.
The 66th Festival del film Locarno will take place 7-17 August 2013.