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L'immagine e la parola: a journey through the worlds of Blutch and Lorenzo Mattotti

"Jekyll & Hyde" – Lorenzo Mattotti and Jerry Kramsky

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"Pour en finir avec le cinéma" – Blutch

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"Jekyll & Hyde" – Lorenzo Mattotti

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"Pour en finir avec le cinéma" – Blutch

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This year’s guests of honor are two graphic novelists of international repute, Blutch and Lorenzo Mattotti. Together with Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian and curator Daniela Persico, they have drawn up a program of workshops, screenings and discussion forums that will lay bare their creative processes and the interface between these and the world of film.

The event begins on 10 March with Blutch, author of Le petit Christian and Pour en finir avec le cinéma, who picked the film for this year’s opening screening: The Wind. Victor Sjöström’s visionary silent masterpiece, made just as the era of the talkies began, will have live musical accompaniment specially provided by the trio of Iokoi, Dadaglobal & Steve Buchanan. The program continues on Friday 11 March with a screening of La guerre est finie by the late lamented French master filmmaker Alain Resnais. Blutch collaborated personally with the director, who was a great fan of comics, supplying the posters for his last three films. After the screening, Blutch will engage in conversation with the audience about the central role played by the figure of the actor in the world of his imagination. Actors and filmmakers with ties to Resnais include one with whom Blutch has recently worked, Bruno Podalydès. The French actor and director will be attending the event in Locarno to present his latest film Comme un avion, in which Blutch makes a cameo appearance. The last film chosen by Blutch, Dramma della gelosia, is a tribute to the great Italian director Ettore Scola, who died recently.

Taking over on Saturday 12 March will be Lorenzo Mattotti, offering the public a chance to enter the world of one of the great masters of illustration. At 4 pm there will be a screening of Les Années Lumière by Alain Tanner (which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival in 1981). This will be followed by an open forum in which Mattotti, taking his cue from movie scenes which were vital in shaping his style and vision, will retrace his artistic career to date through panels from his graphic novels, illustrations and animated films. The Sunday morning feature was picked with families in mind: a screening of Pinocchio, directed by Enzo d’Alò, with drawings by Mattotti and music by Lucio Dalla, presented in collaboration with Cinemagia. Sunday afternoon will bring a rare screening of La pattuglia sperduta by Piero Nelli, one of the “forgotten masterpieces” of Italian cinema, the inspiration for a series of previously unpublished drawings by Lorenzo Mattotti which the artist has made available for the occasion.

The complementary worlds of the two graphic novelists will converge in the screening of the animated film Peur(s) du noir (Saturday 12 March, 20:30 pm), an omnibus feature to which both contributed as part of a collective of major contemporary illustrators, each of whom portrayed their own personal nightmare.

This year’s L’immagine e la parola program is further enhanced by a theater performance adapted from the book Jekyll & Hyde by Lorenzo Mattotti and Jerry Kramsky, inspired of course in its turn by Robert Louis Stevenson’s celebrated tale. The artist’s drawings will be projected on stage at the Kursaal theater, with dialogue performed by local actors Margherita Coldesina and Davide Gagliardi, joined by musicians Paolo Mattotti and Giovanni Gianda Bedetti.

The closing event of Festival del film Locarno’s spring-time literary season will be an international advance premiere of the latest film from Werner Herzog: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, a documentary meditation on the Age of the Internet.

As always, this year’s program is hallmarked by strong educational content, too: students of film, illustration and graphic arts will be offered a chance to take part in workshops on the creative process of the graphic novel. These will explore this unique medium, highlighting questions and issues common to the concepts and practices of screenwriting and filmmaking.

The fourth edition of L’immagine e la parola will run from 10 to 13 March.

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