News  ·  05 | 08 | 2021

An Invitation to Travel

Pardi di domani | Day 1

The first programming block of Pardi di domani 2021 is an invitation to travel. It’s a mix of genres, styles and themes that set the tone for the paths the section will explore until the end of the Festival.

From documentary to animation, from essay films to the various forms of fiction, all the films in this program take us by surprise, they stun us with the unexpected: a perspective that deviates from the usual, an unforeseen break with conventions and classic viewpoints. Each of these films deals with reality head-on, be it historical, everyday, moral, artistic or private, by opposing the world’s brutality with the pride of a resistant vision.  


Radu Jude: Caricaturana

To inaugurate the first edition of the new competition known as Corti d’autore, devoted to shorts by established directors, we have one of the great names of contemporary European cinema: Radu Jude.

An old friend of Locarno (he came with Scarred Hearts in 2016 and The Dead Nation in 2017) and recent winner of the Berlinale with Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (2021), he brings us Caricaturana, a project that is also a challenge and an irresistible dream of cinema

Jude sets out to revisit and complete an unmade Eisenstein project: the gestures of Robert Macaire – a popular French figure, playing a ruthless conman – as depicted in Honoré Daumier’s lithographs. Jude blends philological research with gleeful satire, using the historical image to comment on current events and confirming the fiercely idiosyncratic power of his inimitable auteur voice.  

Špela Čadež: Steakhouse

Acclaimed for her previous animated shorts, Slovenian director Špela Čadež amazes once again with Steakhouse.

Within the four walls of a smoky apartment, a hungry husband eagerly starts cooking a steak left to marinate for a long time. But his wife is running late, held up in the office by her colleagues who decide to celebrate her with a surprise party.

As the smoke screen grows thicker and thicker, what begins as a seemingly simple story becomes the biting and narratively surprising tale of the shadows that lurk within the walls of the home.

An impeccable animation, with a fury as refined as it is disturbing, frightening and fun at the same time. Delightfully fulfilling.

Eliane Esther Bots: In Flow of Words

At the heart of In Flow of Words, a new work by Dutch artist and documentary filmmaker Eliane Esther Bots, are the voices of three interpreters who serve at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

Beyond the rules of the law, the rituals of the judicial process, the neutrality of the linguistic service, and without the wall of invisibility and detachment, for the first time the interpreters give voice to their feelings and personal stories.

This is how the film proposes a radical change of perspective on the elaboration of the traumas of history, war crimes, victims and perpetrators of the Balkan conflict. The result is a work of great formal power: touching, terrifying, emotionally powerful.

Jumana Issa and Flavio Luca Marano: Es muss

Produced by the ZHDK of Zurich, Es muss by Jumana Issa and Flavio Luca Marano inaugurates the national competition with a relentlessly paced film.

It is the story of Silvia, a middle-aged woman who over a single day is dismissed one step away from retirement, fined during a road control and finally put aside by the director of the church choir, during the rehearsals of her solo with the notes of the Ave Maria.

In an escalation of brutal shots, the young duo of directors builds up and blows up the tension of the story, making the most of a brilliant intuition of the gaze: it is possible to find irony even in the recesses of human misery and it is good and right to celebrate it in one final act of silent, grandiose resistance.

Alexis Langlois: Les démons de Dorothy

The program ends with an explosion of irreverence and cinematic madness: the new enfant prodige of French cinema Alexis Langlois presents Les démons de Dorothy. It’s a delirious vision: the world of The Wizard of Oz populated by transsexual Amazons, an 8 ½ at the time of trash television.

Dorothy is an aspiring director who fails to produce her dream project: a queer adventure in which huge-breasted bikers declare war on the patriarchy. The serene echoes of the mainstream knock on the door and with them the abyss of a dazzling nightmare opens up.

Langlois' unbridled talent re-elaborates sexual drives, artistic frustrations and the simulacra of contemporary gay pop culture in the service of a sparkling satire of the film industry. A free fall into the territories of the most unbridled creativity.

Eddie Bertozzi