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Rights to Mekas

Hallelujah the Hills – Histoire(s) du cinéma: Locarno70

Rights to Mekas

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Locarno is 70 years old, but it seems little more than adult: perhaps because it has always experimented, searched for new languages, often taking them apart, rewarding not those who caress conventions, but those who want to break them, turn them upside down and finally rewrite them. And so it has remained young, just like Hallelujah the Hills, work that still challenges for its modernity even though it's now 54 years old. Adolfas Mekas offered then – and Locarno70 now – a crazy and inventive work, capable of exploding in every scene in visual short circuits, gestural, in machine movements and voilent and surreal jump-cuts, taking us down a track that seems to put together Buster Keaton and psychedelia, in a snowy buddy movie that is the flag of the New American Cinema in its most joyful experimentation, blinding, free. Enough to anticipate the emotional and cinematographic grammar of Von Trier and Associates (Idioterne – The idiots, 34 years later, it seems a lot, and perhaps it's no coincidencethat the unlikely Italian title of Mekas’ film was I magnifici idioti Viva le colline) as well as some vision to Kaurismäki. But it is extraordinary the use of black and white as a revolution of light and colour, the symphony of bodies, sounds and edit cuts, the use of characters as instruments and elements of the scenography, the direction as a total creative element. A masterpiece, in the sense that it changed the way of working in the cinema.

Boris Sollazzo

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