News from the Locarno Festival

Fermo immagine

Fermo immagine


"Parce qu'il est un art, le cinéma nous permet, dans l'intimité de la salle noire, de pleurer de ce que nous aimons et disparait de notre vie… Mais aussi parce qu'il est un art, il arrive qu'il devoile d'une manière fulgurante ce qui en l'humain veille, et pourrait grandir." The words of Carole Desbarats (Le plaisir des larmes) allow me to mention something so evident that it goes unobserved, like Poe's famous letter. Cinema is an art capable of revealing to people what they really are.

So fragile, and yet so powerful that time can be defeated. In this year's programme, some films have sought to reveal what is hidden inside people, which sometimes debases them and sometimes elevates them. I'm thinking of the silent yell that pulsates in Short Term 12, the legacy of violence recounted by Tomogui, the inextricable tangle of pain and humour and unexpected epiphanies brought into focus by E agora or the timeless ecstasy described by Historia de la meva mort.

Time and space. Along these axes, cinema constructs its stories. It does this by seeking to spread open regular geometry and offer new angles. Like in the extraordinary sequence of the stargate, the portal that allows the almost instantaneous linking of two points in space. That mixture of vertigo and vortex that dilates the pupils – in 2001: A Space Odyssey it is a vision whose genesis and architecture that great artist of the image, Douglas Trumbull, has recently described to us here in Locarno. Now rewatching Stanley Kubrick's film becomes a renewal of the gaze, an updating of its projection. Essentially, the Festival is a sphere that serves to do also this: something similar to a "stargate" where the past has never past if it is seen as living flesh through the always-present narrative of its leading witnesses.

Piazza Grande, Fitzcarraldo, 16 | 8 | 2013 – 21:30

Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo must be the best slide for letting all the images of a whole day in Locarno slip by. The imposingness of the enterprise is matched by the imposingness of the screen. A challenge that seems to gather together all the forces of the cinema. A spectacle worthy of the Piazza Grande!

Carlo Chatrian
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