News from the Locarno Festival

Serra Introduces Jean-Marie Straub

Pardo d'onore Manor

Serra Introduces Jean-Marie Straub



In an exclusive interview with the website of the British Film Institute in 2015, the Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra, two years after the victory of the Pardo d'oro with Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death), asked rhetorically: "What would be best for mankind? That every cinema in the world shows a film by Steven Spielberg, or Jean-Marie Straub? Which of the two would give the human race greater happiness? Why, clearly Straub's film, we all agree!"

It is no wonder that Serra has returned to Locarno, but wearing the hat of the humble fan, of the film enthusiast, to pay tribute to the work of Maestro Straub, Pardo d’onore Manor of this 70th edition. Born in France in 1933, he lived in Germany and Italy and is now resident in Switzerland. In more than sixty years of career has (re)written every rule of the cinema.

"For me looking at the images means exploring a world from the point of view of the filmmaker, where I try to understand how it's possible to get to that kind of creation" explained Serra during a meeting in Locarno dedicated exclusively to his relationship with Straub "and every time I have to strive to regain a primitive point of view and to abandon the role of director, returning to be a member of the audience. The cinema of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet has always had a great influence on my work, especially with regard to the use of non-professional actors. Just like them, I go in search of authenticity".

He echoed the Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian: "Being able to reward the work and the person of Jean-Marie Straub is a special honour, not only for the close relationship that Straub and Huillet have had with the Locarno Festival, but mainly because their films occupy an indispensable place in the history of modern cinema and still have an undeniable influence on different filmmakers. The films of Straub and Huillet still have a lot to tell us."

Straub, always connected to the Festival, has given many of his films to the public of Locarno. Among the important titles in his career presented at the Locarno Festival we remember his first feature film, Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach, which was presented in 1968 in the main programme; Antigone, shown in 1992 in Piazza Grande, and Kommunisten, in the 2014 in the Fuori concorso.

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