News from the Locarno Festival

Bill Pullman, the measure of a great actor


With that face of his, so full of character and sheer normality, Bill Pullman has always managed to be totally credible, even when his characters have spanned the most disparate film genres, including the ironic, gloriously over-the-top science-fiction stretching from Spaceballs (1987) to Independence Day (1996). President of a USA under alien invasion, he’s put that face to serve major directors, bringing  his mimetic talents  to such a diverse array of films. From  Wes Craven (The Serpent and the Rainbow, 1988) to  Lawrence Kasdan (The Accidental Tourist, 1998), via Mel Brooks, Roland Emmerich, Cameron Crowe....as well as Michael Winterbottom, Thomas Vinterberg, Wim Wenders and David Lynch (in Lost Highway, 1997). And it is precisely because his trajectory as an actor has not been confined to mainstream box-office hits and the Hollywood majors, that the 69th edition of the Festival del film Locarno wanted to pay him his due with this Excellence Award Moët & Chandon. Born in Hornell, New York, in 1953, Bill Pullman ranks among those great American  professionals who have not only distinguished themselves by their versatility and eclecticism, but also by that quality that only the greatest actors can boast: the ability, when required, to efface themselves within the film, without self-assertion  or taking over the story, thanks to their special touch, and the extent to which they can mold their talent to whatever is required by the film, the director and the role itself.

Lorenzo Buccella

LOST HIGHWAY by David Lynch
France/USA – 1996 – 134’
ZERO EFFECT by Jake Kasdan
USA – 1998 – 116’

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