News from the Locarno Festival

Surprises and Guests of Locarno69

Gemma Arterton in The Girl with All the Gifts, by Colm McCarthy



Some signals can be already seen on the very first day, with the opening film of Locarno 69 which will be screened in Piazza Grande. In Colm McCarthy's The Girl with All the Gifts, zombies invade the big screen projecting us in a dystopian future where only the encounter with diversity can offer a way of salvation. And to lead us on this journey, the Locarno stage is going to welcome an actress who has gained more and more space in the contemporary scene. Gemma Arterton, the British performer we had known as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace, abandons here the romantic garments used in a film like Anne Fontaine's Gemma Bovery to face a totally disorienting role. Feelings of challenge and desire to surprise are indeed the ingredients that will characterise the presence of some other big names of the world of cinema who are going to crowd the red carpet of the Festival. Starting from an American actor as Bill Pullman who will receive the Excellence Award Moët&Chandon, in order to give recognition to the versatility that has allowed him to commute between several genres: from the most ironic or catastrophic-spectacular science-fiction (Spaceballs, Independence Day) to the great arthouse cinema under the guidance of two masters, such as Wim Wenders and David Lynch. Talent and sensitivity are always serving the film, a baggage that some actors keep intact even when they become director: you can ask Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, shooting Une jeune fille de 90 ans. The best French cinema is then going to be well and highly represented, as usual: in addition to the return of Louis Garrel, the female parterre will be composed by some great women, such as Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Baye, Emmanuelle Devos and Clotilde Courau. Also another actress is becoming more and more important as years pass by, but she comes from Switzerland: Carla Juri. While we are waiting to see her in the new Blade Runner 2, in Locarno she follows the journey of the expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker's life. A biopic in costume which constitutes a combo if we consider the one dedicated to Stefan Zweig, Vor der Morgenröte, in whose cast we find Josef Hader and Barbara Sukowa: they both will be on the Lake Maggiore shores to present the film. But also other surprises will come from the Piazza Grande screenings: never as in this 69th edition, the selected movies are coming from all over the world. From Africa to Korea, passing through Malaysia, there are many faces to discover that already seem destined to have a bright future.

Lorenzo Buccella


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