News  ·  14 | 08 | 2021

The Landis Revolution

Pardo d'onore Manor to John Landis

© Locarno Film Festival / Ti-Press / Massimo Pedrazzini

It's not only a laugh "that kills you," but it's also a laugh that continues to open the doors to the most irreverent pantheon of our imagination. John Landis is this and much more. It only takes a step back in time to understand its depth. From 1978 to 1983, a period of just six years, but for Landis that was enough time to change the history of American cinema and music forever. From the landmark Animal House, up and up and onto Michael Jackson's howling video clip, Thriller. All this, firing the oversized bullet of a John Belushi into the heart of American society and at the same time into the orbits of our fantasies, shuffling cards, genres and expectations. It is the comedian who becomes a political whiplash, or the demented who embraces horror (An American Warewolf in London, 1981). Without forgetting the intuition he had for the first time with John Belushi: yet another snatch from the stage of Saturday Night Live, to create new film icons with Dan Aykroyd (the unrepeatable duet in The Blues Brothers, 1980) or with Eddie Murphy (Trading Places, 1983). They all meet extraordinarily there, in that meeting point between cultured and popular cinema, where a musical fuse can explode everything. Especially if that fuse is made by people like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.

Lorenzo Buccella