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Despite being originally from Argentina, Eduardo ‘Teddy’ Williams is probably the most international of the filmmakers working nowadays. His filmography comprises films shot all around the globe: he’s explored the apocalyptic and unearthly landscape of the former touristic village of Epecuén in Could See a Puma (2011), mysterious underground passages in the north of France leading to the Sierra Leone jungle in That I’m Falling? (2013), the streets and construction sites of Hanoi occupied by youngsters practicing parkour in I Forgot! (2014), the virtual links between the millennial youth of Argentina, Mozambique and the Philippines in The Human Surge (2016) … Williams’ films know no boundaries, no territorial borders, no straightforward narratives, no classical filmmaking formal devices. Watching one of his works – especially the one being presented here and now – feels like discovering cinema over and over again, going back to the origins and feeling the same way audiences felt when cinema was being born and when, almost by chance, the camera moved on a Venice gondola in Lumière’s Panorama du Grand Canal pris d'un bateau (1896), or when after a number of scenes shown in parallel editing, a bandit shot the spectator by pointing his gun straight into the camera in the last image of Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903). After winning the Pardo d’oro in the 2016 Cineasti del presente section with his feature debut El auge del humano (The Human Surge), Williams returns to Locarno, this time to present the cryptically-titled El auge del humano 3 (part 2 is nowhere to be seen or heard of) in the Concorso internazionale. This time, the novelty is the use of a 360-degree camera, a technical device usually associated with the immersive experiences of VR cinema. Physically, such a camera looks like a ball, and the associations and uses Williams’ gives can be diverse – is this camera a football? Is it a planet of its own? How does this sphere interact with the similar shapes that the film itself keeps exploring, jumping in space and time? Whatever we might believe it to be, it feels as a completely new means of expression, a device that enables the director to (re)create a whole new world of images after they have been shot, by framing and re-framing a recorded material that is boundless in the same way our real physical space is into a confined yet ever-free two-dimensional scope image. Describing El auge del humano 3 merely as experimental cinema would be constraining in itself – this film is visionary cinema, uncompromising cinema, young cinema. Cinema coming from the future. A kind of cinema that, as the characters it portrays, is in constant movement, shifting from Taiwan to Sri Lanka to Peru and running away from any established conventions.
Eduardo Williams won the Pardo d’oro in the 2016 Cineasti del presente section with his feature debut El auge del humano (The Human Surge). There is no film titled El auge del humano 2.