News  ·  10 | 08 | 2018

Media's and Critics Academy's Verdicts

Waiting for the Pardo d'oro... What's your Locarno71's favourite movie?



Nicholas Elliott, Cahiers du Cinéma, France

Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

As soft as snow, it envisions the end with serenity, slipping in between death and sleep to remind us that Hong Sang-soo’s cinema is among the most vital of our time.


Jean-Michel Frodon,, France

Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

My favorite film in Locarno this year is Hong Sang-soo’s Hotel by the River, at the same time the funniest and the saddest film, the most elegant and the most simple.


Bernard Génin, Positif, France


A splendid performance by Mary Kay Place, so humane, so truthful, in a film where everything rings right and true.


Jacques Mandelbaum, Le Monde, France

La Flor

A fourteen-hour dream, between the dusk and dawn of cinema.


Laure Adler, France Culture, France

La Flor

Magnetico potente nuovo formalmente e psichicamente una rivelazione.


Peter Claus, dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany


The sensitive documentary tackles a highly complicated subject most intelligently and without raving for sensation. Based on a personal point of view, she asks smart, sociopolitical questions.


Jan Küveler, Die Welt & Welt am Sonntag, Germany


Sibel with Damla Sönmez as the mute protagonist is so incredibly gripping and moving that all other competitors should not matter anymore.


Hannah Pilarczyk, Spiegel Online, Germany


The most truthful films about love contain a contradiction: they believe in love while also despairing of it. Philippe Lesage's Genèse made me believe in love while also despairing of it.


Peter Kremski, WDR, Germany

First Reformed

In First Reformed Paul Schrader finally finds his way to a transcendental style which he always celebrated in the work of others. Outstanding!


Frédéric Jaeger,, Germany

La Flor

There's no doubt that the most intense and rewarding cinematic experience was La Flor by Mariano Llinás. A carnival with glowing surfaces, reinventing film.

Kirsten Liese, Ray Filmmagazin, Austria

Alice T.

It explores serious problems very closely in our modern societies, where false ideologies of education make young people lose any respect for authorities and other people. In Germany these circumstances have already led to a fatal lack of teachers and a lot of teachers with burnouts. And in addition a terribly uneducated youth. But as we learn in the film a similarly terrible development seems to come up in Romania. It looks like a last desperate call to stop it and to stop unauthorical education.


Rui Martins, Radio France International, Brazil


This film moved me, it’s a real portrait of Brazil today, showing a kind of resigned conformity among black people, the poor and the marginalized, in a country that hasn’t changed much under Lula in terms of social protection and healthcare.


J-Pol Roden, Radio 100,7, Luxemburg


We must counteract all forms of intolerance!


Giorgia Del Don, Cineuropa, Belgium


For the ambiguous power it unleashes. It’s a film that wounds and heals us, giving life and a voice to an extraordinary character.


Muriel Del Don, Cineuropa, Belgium


A powerful and shocking film that turns human suffering into poetry.


Eulàlia Iglesias, Caimán – Cuadernos de Cine, Spain

La Flor and Diane

Even if I haven't seen it in its entirety, I must confess my devotion for La Flor by Mariano Llinás and its fascinating approach to narrative as a form and as an object of deconstruction. I also want to mention Diane by Kent Jones as the discovery of the Festival, a moving drama with an unusual heroine.


Christopher Small, MUBI, UK

La Flor

I haven't seen all of the movie that is handily my favourite of the festival. But then again, who has?


Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage, USA

Tarde para morir joven

Gentle & deeply moving, Sotomayor’s childhood memoir rang so achingly nostalgic it instantly turned into my Locarno71 charmer.


Francisco Ferreira, Expresso, Portugal

Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

Two human beings who don't know each other touched by the snow and the same unfathomable feeling. Isn't destiny a construction which reverberates in the present?


Allan Hunter, Screen International, UK


Richard Billingham has transformed the brutal chaos of his family life into a striking, meticulously staged memoir. RAY & LIZ provokes reactions from revulsion to heartbreak but manages to spell out the humanity of the family and win our empathy.


Yangesh Raj Pandit, Kantipur Media Group, Kantipur Daily, Nepal

A Land Imagined

Why: because it artistically and creatively presents the reality. Immigrant worker in Singapore’s world it self is illusionary and for the mainland people they are illusionary. Director has chosen unique style and sequence of dream, video game and imagination to tell the story.


Pamela Jahn, Electric Sheep Magazine, UK


Tough, tender and meticulously composed, Richard Billingham has crafted a haunting cinematic memoir and a thoughtful film about life, loneliness, love and loss. A striking first feature of raw beauty and heart.


Terry T. Chor,, China

A Family Tour

A Family Tour shines with powerful expression of love and indignation, and it proves that this kind of emotions-fueled story is never dead – it just needs an accomplished director and his efforts towards freedom.


Luke Walkley, Movie Marker (, UK


Wonderful performances with believable on-screen chemistry and masterful direction by Ethan Hawke.


Dai LU,, China.

Jiao qu de niao (Suburban Birds)

Jiao qu de niao (Suburban Birds) creates a poetic space-time, which draws you in a slow, but steady pace. The film has two distinct narratives, one of investigations of a ground subsidence incident and the other of a group of kids searching for their lost friend. The two parts seem parallel at first, but echo each other in a surrealist way as the film unfurls. The director shows a real talent in mise-en-scène and a strong passion in telling a story of love and innocence.


E. Nina Rothe,, USA


I really enjoyed M by Yolande Zauberman because although it’s a difficult theme to tackle, it’s a beautiful film to watch. And the film's protagonist, Menahem Lang is both charismatic and problematic enough to be spellbinding.


Ximena Hiriart, Revista Codigo, Mexico

Seymour: An Introduction

This is a movie which is about life as much as it is about art. It touches you emotionally and at the same time it makes you think. Ethan Hawke is true to the subject but also shares with you his own philosophical dilemmas, you feel you learnt a lot about music and also you feel you intimately get to know Mr. Seymour, you come out of the film inspired.


Stas Tyrkin, Komsomolskaya Pravda Daily, Russia


I'd single out M by Yolande Zauberman, a brutally honest study of a person whose “little life” is disrupted by violence he endured in his yearly childhood. M is a real version of the heartbreaking character in Yanagihara’s novel who has also suffered from the people who are supposed to bring to this world solace, not disruption.


Rui Pedro Tendinha, Cinetendinha, Portugal


A poetic look about a filmmaker’s intimacy. The proof that slow cinema can be outrageously romantic...


Raúl Liébana, El Espectador Imaginario, Spain

La Flor and Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

La Flor by Mariano Llinás, a large part of the history of cinema, a total film.

Gangbyun Hotel by Hong Sangsoo who, suddenly, has made a film with a twilight vision.


Kaleem Aftab, The Independent, UK

Ruben Brandt, Collector

A surprising and audacious animated heist movie from Hungary that worked on so many levels. As art appreciation, as a look at visual image and cinema, and as a fun Ocean’s 11 type caper. All my needs, intellectual and entertainment were satisfied, and the images are extraordinary.


Francesco Boille, Internazionale, Italy


Yara di Abbas Fahdel, metà documentario etnologico e metà fiaba, è un'immersione totale nella luce, nella leggerezza, nella purezza. Capolavoro.


Luca Mosso, la Repubblica, Italy


Perché dimostra come si può fare un film politico in modo semplice e intelligente, mettendo al centro l'uomo e le sue debolezze e trovando la forma giusta per raccontare il passato ed essere nel presente.


Alessandro Stellino,, Italy


Il ritratto chiaroscurale di un uomo libero, il cui pensiero immaginifico diventa lucida invettiva contro le pratiche oscurantiste del nostro tempo.


Maurizio Porro, Corriere della Sera, Italy


Il mio film preferito, quello che mi ha emozionato di cuore e cervello, è Blaze di Ethan Hawke che sa trarre ossigeno dal grande cinema crepuscolare americano anni 70 di Altman e Penn, senza cadere mai nel manierismo vintage. Fenomenale.


Andrea Chimento, Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy


Voto Menocchio di Alberto Fasulo, per me il migliore per il sorprendente apparato visivo, l'uso della luce e i perfetti tempi di montaggio. Oltre che per la capacità di mettere in scena un personaggio del Cinquecento riuscendo a renderlo attualissimo. Un film emozionante e di grande forza drammaturgica.


Michela Greco, TU STYLE, Italy

Sembra mio figlio

Per la forza gentile di un racconto che annulla i confini seguendo il filo che lega un figlio a sua madre, al fianco di un popolo oppresso in lotta per la libertà.


Valentina D'Amico,, Italy


Con BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee è tornato grande stemperando la sua vis polemica in un film che torna a parlare di razzismo, tema che non abbandona mai la sua produzione, ma è anche una commedia divertente. La scelta di collegarsi a un fatto realmente accaduto, trattandolo con toni lievi, a tratti buffi, rafforza il suo impegno e al tempo stesso sembra ridare nuovo impulso alla sua opera.


Giampiero Raganelli, Quinlan, Italy

Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

Contemplando un fiume d'inverno, in bianco e nero, Hong Sangsoo supera le schermaglie tra i sessi per approdare alla poesia, alla vita e alla morte.


Nicola Falcinella, La Provincia di Como, Italy

A Land Imagined

Chinatown di Polanski riletto da Lynch e Wong Kar-wai: lo sfruttamento degli immigrati e lo smarrimento per la trasformazione dei luoghi in un'indagine onirica.


Francesco Di Pace, Rai3, Italy


Un film che racconta quel tipico momento giovanile di scoperta della propria identità, mescolando delusioni e tenerezze esistenziali, con una felice e spesso inedita grazia narrativa.


Mariarosa Mancuso, Il Foglio, Italy

Hatzlila (The Dive)

In un kibbutz, tre fratelli con un padre da seppellire, i missili, la partenza del più giovane per il fronte. Scrittura, regia, attori: non ha un difetto.


Pascal Gavillet, Tribune de Genève/24 Heures, Switzerland


The incessant whirwind, the hesitation, the indecisiveness, the first suffering and the disturbances linked to the awakening of the sense, it’s all miraculously in place. The film holds up even with its flaws, merging with its subject matter in a masterful fashion. Our hearts beat in unison with all the characters.


Stéphane Gobbo, Le Temps, Switzerland


Blaze Foley could have had the career of Townes Van Zandt or Willie Nelson... Ethan Hawke honours this forgotten musician with an organic, rivetingly edited biopic.


Ugo Brusaporco, laRegione Ticino, Switzerland


Ci sono film che fanno dell’azione il loro vanto, altri che si perdono nel loro voler raccontare senza qualità, altri che si vantano di essere autoriali, e poi ci sono film come Yara, che ti regalano il senso ultimo di ogni film: essere postazione della memoria. Ed è raro trovarli, e bene ha fatto il Festival a mettere in concorso questo film di un allievo di Jean Rouch, nato a Bagdad, trasferitosi a Parigi e ora da pochi anni abitante di un paesino nel sud del Libano. Un film, questo, che canta l'amore, ricordando il vero, non banale, significato dell'innamorarsi.


Alessandro Bertoglio, RSI Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

Sembra mio figlio

Non mi è capitato spesso di imbattermi in un film fatto di tante parole e tanti silenzi, da ascoltare di testa ma soprattutto di pancia (come richiede la seconda parte di questo film).


Francesca Luvini, RSI Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

La Flor

Coup de cœur per La Flor, che in 14 ore – o 8 puntate – ci fa danzare con l’allegria di un ballo in maschera fra tanti film, tante storie interrotte, riprese, o corrette. Si prende gioco di noi, dei codici cinematografici, del suo lavoro in una sorta di teatro dell’assurdo in cui niente è come appare, in cui tutto è possibile, anche lasciarsi sedurre da 808 minuti di follia.


Antonio Mariotti, Corriere del Ticino, Switzerland


Un’opera prima di grande maturità che ci fa entrare nel mondo di una famiglia disastrata (quella del regista) con affetto e crudezza, rispetto ed enorme sensibilità.


Sebastiano Caroni, Cinemany, Switzerland

Seymour: An Introduction

Non è fuori luogo, credo, paragonare Bernstein a una specie di monaco zen che suona il piano. O, se preferite, a un pianista che parla come un monaco zen, anche perché Bernstein è tanto bravo a muovere le dita sulla tastiera, quanto a scegliere e a pesare le parole.


Michael Sennhauser, SRF2 Kultur, Switzerland

A Land Imagined

Un’affascinante combinazione tra impressioni di vita dei lavoratori migranti stranieri a Singapore e giallo trasognato, tra Wong Kar-wai e Wim Wenders.


Daniela Janser, WOZ – Die Wochenzeitung, Switzerland

In the Cut

In the Cut reveals in a smart, erotic and aesthetic manner the clichés of romantic love and comedy – and shows it’s exactly that what could cost a woman her life.


Christian Jungen, NZZ am Sonntag, Switzerland


A heartwarming biopic about the country music singer-songwriter Blaze Foley – so beautiful, making you laugh and cry at the same time – directed in a beautiful retro Americana style by Ethan Hawke.


Matthias Lerf, SonntagsZeitung, Switzerland


Because everything came together at once on the Piazza: a great film, wonderful music, a heartfelt presentation – and a heavy shower, separating the wheat from the chaff.


Adrian Camartin, Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha – Chur, Switzerland

Amur senza fin

A Heimatfilm in the best sense of the term. Thrilling, modern and self-deprecating.




Marko Miladinovic, Switzerland


Cosa fanno un letterato, un designer, un fotografo e una scenografa in un interno milanese dove il tempo è fermo e pur si muove? Fissano lo sguardo sul buio di un’epoca.


Richard Bolisay, Philippines

Closing Time

Closing Time combines two important elements I value most in cinema: the working class as a subject, and poetry as a means of expression. It is an immensely beautiful work that captures both the beauty and madness, as well as the humour and sadness, of living in today’s cruel and globalised world, and whose visuals and sounds create a stunning reflection on the meaning of life.


Silvia Posavec, Switzerland


Temporada is an authentic and uplifting story about a woman making her way into a new life. The Director André Novais Oliveira proves that the simple stories are the most human ones.


Josh Slater-Williams, UK


The best new feature I’ve seen at Locarno is RAY & LIZ, a quite astonishing British debut that reminded me of a hybrid of the styles of the seemingly incompatible Terence Davies and Jonathan Glazer.


Sabrina Schwob, Switzerland

Coincoin et les Z'inhumains

My favorite film of this edition is Coincoin et les Z'inhumains. Through the characters, Bruno Dumont reveals in a very singular, surrealistic and burlesque way the human being’s inadequacy between his inside disposition and what he expresses.


Becca Voelcker, Wales (UK)

Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River)

With exquisite poise, two narratives coincide on a snowy riverbank. Much is left unsaid, spoken instead by the tilt of a head and other, often very funny, intricacies of intergenerational etiquette. Hong’s regular cast and character types excel in this latest meditation on fate, agency and ageing. It’s a narrative told with beautiful economy of means, and is the perfect length.


Katja Zellweger, Switzerland

Alles ist gut

Alles ist gut convinced me with its strong protagonist that pretends to be well until she freezes in utter denial of the facts.