News from the Locarno Festival

Opening ceremonies

Opening ceremonies



I’ve always been mistrustful of celebrity figureheads and opening ceremonies, of forced smiles and speeches written to be read out (but without it being too obvious). As though someone up above did not have enough confidence in the actors or the programme itself to offer it without intermediaries. But when the possibility of hosting Christopher Lee at Locarno came up, I said to myself that if there must be a figurehead, he would be my ideal one. How could you not want to be accompanied by the man who has accompanied more films than any other?

Of water and fire
. A thin thread of disquietude passes through the films in the competitions and links Joaquim Pinto’s first-person narrative with that of the river’s inhabitants in By the River. In E Agora?, the story of the fight against a disease and of the life that has carried on despite everything, fire serves as both real threat and metaphor. In Numbenchapol’s film, it is water that is overturned as a symbol of purity and life to become an element of death and pain. Though not directly present, ruin and rebirth are the basic elements of 2 Guns. Like every good action film, Kormákur’s work repeatedly places its heroes at the edge of the precipice, in impasses with no way out, perhaps to bring the public’s attention to an unbalanced relationship between who controls and who is controlled.

Someone has shot the judge Costantino. A bullet to the throat has taken away his ability to talk. He is sure he knows who was responsible, but the world around him does not give him a chance to prove it. He is left with his soundless rage, his gaze lost amidst papers that no longer speak to him. Alone, in his office. Alone, in his silence. Imprisoned in a tragi-comic situation, the judge Costantino observes the world that surrounds him with astonishment.

Carlo Chatrian

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