News from the Locarno Festival

5 Literature's Classics at the Festival

"Hermia & Helena" – Matías Piñeiro


"Jeunesse" – Julien Samani


"Les Fausses Confidences" – Luc Bondy


"The Sun, the Sun Blinded Me" – Anka Sasnal & Wilhelm Sasnal


©  Wilhelm Sasnal

Source: Deutsches Filminstitut, Frankfurt


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There’s nothing older than the relationship between film and literature. Although it’s impossible to count all the film adaptations of literary classics, it’s interesting to discover how that material is open to cinematic creation, finding new forms. An example of this is the five adaptations featured in this edition of the Festival.


  1. William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    William Shakespeare is among the most adapted authors, but few have attempted an interpretation like the one presented by Argentinian filmmaker Matías Piñeiro. Working closely with the young underground theater scene, the director reworks the Shakesperean comedy of errors once again, with a view on contemporary liquidity. This year’s Helena & Hermia is connected to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  2. Joseph Conrad – Youth
    For his first fiction film, French director Julien Samani takes his cue from the solid and whirling prose of Joseph Conrad. Based on the eponymous short story, Jeunesse updates the sailor Marlow’s struggle against nature and the laws of society to the present day. His name is Zico and he departs from Le Havre, but he will still have to face the threshold from youth to adulthood.
  3. Marivaux – Les Fausses Confidences
    France is yet again in love with the amorous ethics of Marivaux, as attested by the growing interest from Parisian audiences who filled the Théâtre l’Odeon to see Luc Bondy’s staging of Les Fausses Confidences. The recently deceased director had the idea of immortalizing the successful play with high-caliber actors like Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel and Bulle Ogier.
  4. Albert Camus, The Stranger
    The Polish directing duo Anka Sasnal and Wilhelm Sasnal tackle Albert Camus’ most famous novel, The Stranger. The Sun, the Sun Blinded Me transforms Meursault into a man who tries to distance himself from society, only to face a dilemma after meeting an immigrant: take on responsibility to aid a stranger or remain on the side?
  5. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
    If you wish to return to the Mephistophelian atmosphere of Faust, don’t miss the chance to see Peter Gorski’s adaptation in the Retrospective. Based on a famous stage adaptation featuring abstract sets and Will Quadflieg’s exasperated acting.


Daniela Persico

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