News from the Locarno Festival

Pardo d’onore Manor for Jean-Marie Straub

Jean-Marie Straub


© BELVA Film


Born in France in 1933, with a career that stretches back over sixty years and that plowed a distinct furrow across the field of 20th century cinema. The Pardo d’onore Manor of the 70th Locarno Festival will be given to Jean Marie Straub on August the 11th 2017.

Benchmark auteur for generations of moviegoers and directors, Straub spent much of his lifetime with his partner in art and life, Danièle Huillet (1936 – 2006) and they have been (re)writing cinema in three of Switzerland’s four national languages.
Straub and Huillet’s cinema redefines narrative structures, putting at its center a new kind of aesthetic at the service of the essential, and establishes a dialectical process between space, time, spectator and actor. Everything happens within a framing that constitutes an objective and absolute reality, based on consciousness of morality and a strong political commitment.
Straub and Huillet’s first full-length film, Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (1967), clearly set a course for their future output, in which film would be, literally, the seventh art. Often “at the service” of literature, theater, music and painting, their films are powerful re-elaborations of landmark figures such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Kafka, Mallarmé, Pavese, Brecht, Engels, Cézanne, D. W. Griffith and many others, all firmly bound by a strict ethic of the gaze.

Straub has always had close ties with Locarno, entrusting many of his premieres to the Festival audience. The many important titles presented here over his long career include his full-length debut, Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach, featured in the main program in 1968, Antigone, shown in Piazza Grande in 1992, and Kommunisten screened Fuori Concorso in 2014.

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