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The Italian word “ambiente” can refer to the environment, an atmosphere, and a milieu. In this case, it’s the spatial, social and emotional context that constitutes the area of the film where the story unfolds. The films in this program are as much organic gestures as they are poetical, building specific “ambienti” that the protagonists are either in conflict or in harmony with, that they shape or to which they surrender, until the rapture occurs.
Having won the Pardino d’oro for L’immense retour in 2016, Manon Coubia chooses a ski resort as her setting, among a group of slope groomers. These are solid, gruff fellas whose camaraderie, rivalries and weariness she captures with a few, precise brush strokes. The groomers’ ballet has barely begun when Antoine lets the night, sleep and the might of the elements take him by surprise. Caught in between mountainous realism, documentary forms and the fantastic, Marée (Tide) is a contemporary, captivating Ramuzian odyssey.
In Poslednja slika o ocu (The Last Image of Father), the camera rests on the concrete structures that tighten like a vice, or as the last pillars that enable the father to hold and take refuge. The opaque atmosphere fits with the man’s mood, he who nevertheless does everything in his power to guarantee his son an environment where more light could penetrate. Cinematographer Stefan Djordjevic delivers a moving, beautifully directed first film.
Enea Zucchetti uses his camera to sculpt a city of bricks, metal and glass, mist and concrete. Until a human character bursts onto the scene, the absence of movement gives the shots an almost non-figurative aura. This person does not appear to be invited, nor does he want to enter these inhospitable architectures. What is he seeking? The traces of an ancestor, a sign of life? The mysterious buildings in L’azzurro del cielo (Azure Memories) find their counterpoint in the sensory ballet of All Come From Dust. The vibrations of wind and light activate the dust on the ruins, and progressively summon all of the elements. In this continued movement, reinforced by an inebriating soundscape, Younes Ben Slimane magnifies the builder’s gestures, as they’re progressively sketched out.
Last but not least, in Frisson d’amour (Shiver of Love), exists a sanctuary of electronic gadgets that delight Suzanne's daily life. Director Maxence Stamatiadis allies himself with his ultra-connected grandmother to summon the past and enjoy once again the feeling of being loved once again, through a patchwork of digital technologies and friendships, with a gesture that is tender, funny and wildly inventive.