News from the Locarno Festival

Fermo immagine – day 1

Edward Norton arrived at the Festival del film Locarno



Locarno68 has just opened its doors and as the images that have accompanied this year of visions pass through my head, I ask myself which ones will remain impressed in the minds of the audience. As we wait to find out, I’d like to offer three types of close up, as a kind of aperitif.

1. How to start with anything other than the fresh face of Edward Norton? His presence at Locarno will surely be one for the memory album. What we like about Norton is that he is a star in spite of himself, that he is able to embody the ambiguity of this 21st century, not so much to shock the public but to encourage reflection on who we are and where we are going. How not to welcome someone who claims that “the best movies – documentary or fiction – provoke questions”?

2. The black-and-white close-ups that compose El Movimiento are incisive and iconoclastic in true Peckinpah style. After introducing us to his History of Fear, a revelation in competition at Berlin last year, Benjamín Naishtat has made a “wild” film, and has found in the Argentinian pampas something similar to the Mexican desert of which the American director was so fond.

3. The international competition opens with powerful emotions. Brat Dejan (Brother Dejan) and James White are two films stitched onto the skin of their leading characters. The first is like a basso continuo, a wave of withheld energy that vibrates in the enigmatic face of a general in hiding. The second is a work of pure kinetic energy. Stylistically, Josh Mond never tears the gaze away from his young protagonist, and clearly welcomes the challenge of making a film as though it were a close-up in constant movement.

Carlo Chatrian

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