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Seven out of forty, that is to say one sixth. According to the New Yorker, more specifically Richard Brody, one sixth of the best theatrical releases in America in 2018 were part of the Locarno line-up. To be exact, Locarno69, Locarno70 and Locarno71. Three editions that found, dug up and shone a light on the best in filmmaking. And as Brody says in his long, rich write-up, it's not always synonymous with "box office hit". On the contrary, sometimes it's barely synonymous with "movie theater". It's the cinema of resistance, where that concept goes hand in hand with politics (BlacKkKlansman) and aesthetics (Scarred Hearts). It's a cinema that exists in spite of everything, in spite of contemporary audiovisual clichés and a widening gap between "good" and "available". A gap that Locarno, now in its 72nd year, closes every summer with over 300 films and 1000 screenings. That cinema, the one Brody lists in his Top 40, has always been in Locarno, and it's coming back in 2019.
While we wait for Locarno72, the New Yorker takes us on a trip down memory lane with the best of the past three editions of the Locarno Festival. The Piazza Grande line-up is featured via BlacKkKlansman (Prix du Public UBS 2018), and tributes to Pardo d'onore recipient Bruno Dumont (Jeannette) and Excellence Award winner Ethan Hawke (First Reformed). The Concorso internazionale is represented by Madame Hyde (for which Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress in 2017), Scarred Hearts (Special Jury Prize in 2016) and Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, while Pow Wow left a mark in the Signs of Life section in 2016.