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Artistic Director's Blog
Víctor and Aleksandr, Two Splendid Islands

Artistic Director's Blog
Víctor and Aleksandr, Two Splendid Islands

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Sculpting with time. I’m stealing this expression from Andrei Tarkovsky in order try to link two of the most original, coherent and withdrawn creators of our time, Victor Erice and Aleksandr Sokurov. I’m very proud that they are both at Locarno, gratifying with their thoughts a film festival that seeks to be a feast for both eyes and mind. Both Victor Erice and Aleksandr Sokurov seem to me to be splendid islands in today’s cinema. Encouraging what is a necessary and magnificent isolation, festivals seek to be archipelagos for all those atolls that forcefully break the horizon. In this, Erice – like Sokurov – is unique: his films do not look to other models, and he follows his own path in a stubborn, solitary way.
So too does Paul Vecchiali, the senior participant in this year’s competition, who with Nuits blanches sur la jeté has made a nocturnal film, a theatrical film, a film that expands its universe from sequence to sequence. Another solitary experimenter, Edgar Pera, will be presenting his latest journey at Locarno: Lisbon Revisited dives into a Lisbon imagined via the power of 3D and the lyrics of Portugal’s greatest poet, Fernando Pessoa.


Fascination with trains is as old as film itself. Their constant swaying has provided the rhythm for more than one film, from Abel Gance’s experiments to the futuristic journey dreamed up by Bong Jon-ho in his recent Snowpiercer. The idea of making a train a home, if not the image of a community, is suggested in The Iron Ministry by JP Sniadecki, who film by film is sketching out an unusual cartography of the Chinese people. Filming lengthy journeys, with light surreal detachment Sniadecki grasps the ability of the Chinese to adapt themselves to every situation, turning even a narrow corridor into a location for improvised commerce. 

Carlo Chatrian

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