News from the Locarno Festival

Mister Universo

Concorso internazionale

Mister Universo



Ten years ago Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel started exploring the circus’ universe, and through it they became poets of country roads and farmers.

Movie after movie their look has become more specific, their storytelling enriched.

Mister Universo shows a further step in this process of contamination between fiction and documentary. Once more the couple expresses a unique sensibility in catching the small bites of this itinerant life, turning them in amazing narrative instruments. In this work the trigger element is a tiny iron tool, a talisman dear to Tairo, the tamer who lost it. If we could call it superstition, Mister Universo shows instead how this is an emotional attachment to memory that objects sometimes hold.

The research for the amulet brings Tairo and his friend Wendy into two parallel journeys which, in the best Griffith tradition, can emotionally connect the two characters, revealing their mutual fondness. Between coming-of-age story and time voyage, Mister Universo is articulated in a few human encounters, so dear to the authors: from the money who worked on Phenomena to Mister Universo himself. It’s a world that seems to emerge from the fog of memories and brings back Tairo to handle his childhood. This is in fact the main subject in Covi&Frimmel movies, the feeling of lost innocence that the circus’ world keeps incarnating. Mister Universo has the strength of simple stories, that in the end are never so simple. Just like a piece of iron bent by the strongest man in the world.


Carlo Chatrian

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