There is a city in this world that reflects the times we live in; there is a place in this city that is its metaphor. The city of Paris and its clubs: people from every walk of life, students, jailbirds, kids, transvestites, aspiring actresses, pushers and common people intertwine and meet. Everybody is looking for something, everyone hopes to get in in spite of prejudice.
In my experience as spectator, in general, French films are either really serious or not serious at all (in both cases in a positive way, according to my point of view). La loi de la jungle belongs to the second category, not only because it is a really funny screwball comedy (and more), but also because it becomes really parodistic and satiric to a world, the one of the political and economic European laws, that is extremely bureaucratic, absurd and crazy, without any touch with reality.
“I wanted to be a musician but since I wasn’t fast enough as a guitarist, I dedicated myself to the cinema”. Clever as always, Gabriele Salvatores introduces himself with these words at the event held on Monday 21st of November, entitled A talk about cinema and music.
In the suggestive location of the Intesa Sanpaolo Skycraper’s auditorium, we attend a very interesting conversation between the guest director of this TFF’s edition and Alberto Barbera, director of the Cinema National Museum. The meeting unravels as a chat between friends who love cinema, and this set up is widely appreciated by the audience in the room.
The young and alienated Sean isolated himself in a caravan in the woods, where he starts doing research in the field of alchemy, along with his cat Kaspar as only companion. On the run from a society where he never really found his place, his brother represents the only connection with the civilization by providing him with the most bizarre equipment and materials for his alchemical experiments.
After last year success of Hamlet, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, the Torino Film Festival and the British theatre are united once again (Nexo Digital is responsible for distribution in Italy). This year, it’s time for another classic Shakespearean play: Romeo and Juliet. The tragedy of the star-crossed lovers has been adapted in many forms during the years: from Zeffirelli’s classic to the colourful Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhrmann; set among Puerto Ricans in New York and in Nazis Prague. This year, the audience had the opportunity of tasting the London theatre scene of last season, thanks to the production of Romeo and Juliet, as staged by The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, the theatre company founded by the famous actor.
Pyromanian is a movie by the Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg, who was already well-known for Insomnia (1997), which Christopher Nolan signed to remake.
The film is set in 1981 in Finsland, Norway. Son of a fireman, Dag is a reserved young man, who, after the military service, goes back home to his family. From the very beginning, he clearly appears to be a weird character, as he is morbidly attracted by the fire. As a matter of fact, the viewer knows for the whole time that it is him who sets the neighbors’ houses on fire Continua la lettura di Pyromanian by Erik Skjoldbjærg→
There are only two male dancers that have really set a turning point in the history of classical ballet. They have been great innovators, men that have been able to set the foundation for a new era. The first one is Rudolf Nureyev. The other, Roberto Bolle. It is very rare for a dancer to be compared to Nureyev, who is almost unanimously considered one of the greatest of the 20th century. But Bolle and Nureyev share a common characteristic besides, needless to say, a superhuman talent: they tore down the boundaries of classical ballet, reaching a larger audience and rewriting the rules forever.
Thanks to what they have learnt in yoga class, two young girls fight against a würstel-looking Nazi army with a bad copy of Jason from “Friday the 13th”. After having turned the terrible creature into cheddar paste, the only thing the girls worry about is not having their smartphones with them to immortalize the event. This is Yoga Hosers by Kevin Smith. It is the standard-bearer of the new Z-movies: a fair budget, a carefully chosen cast with some relevant names from the American movie industry and a specific attention to the filmed material both before and after the shooting.
After last year’s success, the Horror Night returns to the Torino Film Festival 2016. They projected three consecutive horror movies from midnight to the first lights of dawn. The event was widely expected and a lot of people were queuing in front of the movie theatre Cinema Massimo. The audience warmly welcomed the announcer of the Horror Night, Emanuela Martini, with applauses and enthusiasm.
A city where students and seagulls live happily together and where, after losing their freedom, both Jake and Mati find solace. The two main characters are Jake, a young but misfit boy who is keen on doing any job just to flee from his family impositions, and Mati, an attractive and brilliant student, afflicted however by an existential discomfort. They venture in a star-crossed love, doomed by fate.
Each chapter of the movie, named after the main characters, wants to show the new life they now have together. This life will soon fade, leaving behind a melancholic memory of an evanescent feeling, that the audience can also find in the blurry frames, immersed in neon lights and jazz rhapsodies. The impressionism and the underground atmosphere resulting from the movie, produced by Jim Jarmush, melt with Bertolucci’s echoes of purifying sex scenes of two “trapped” souls. The actors’ bodies of Lucie Lucas and Anton Yelchin (to whom the movie is dedicated, due to his untimely demise) are concrete symbols of a love destined to remain a faint memory lost in time: Mati’s fleshy lips and soft shapes are in contrast with Jake’s sinewy and oaky build, not far from the representations of Egon Schiele; in fact, the two main characters are locked in an “Embrace” and they wish it to never end. But the pretext of telling a fleeting and saving love ends up getting lost in excessive temporal shifts and protracted sex scenes, so the spectator risks to lose all the references and is pushed inside a bare apartment with candles and boxes.
Last but not least in the busy morning is the press conference with Gabriele Salvatores, guest director for the 34th edition of the TFF. He was inevitably asked about the Cinque Pezzi Facili, naming five films he chose to include in one of the sections of this year’s festival. His favorite feature, says the director, is undoubtedly Jules et Jim, both emotional and delicately evocative and also the loyal keeper of a young Salvatores’ memory, who from ordinary viewer became an aware cinéphile.
Almost ten years after “Gran Torino”, Clint Eastwood is back with another means of transport as a vehicle of ideas, stories, values. Then, it was a legendary Ford, symbol of national identity and anti-racism; now, it is the Airsways 1549 scheduled flight, driven by Captain Chelsey Sullenberger. Or, more simply and tenderly, it is like a “Cactus” flown by Sully in New York’s skies as if it were a kite.
Excessive, reckless, maverick, unscrupulous. But Sion Sono has also got flaws. Before talking about Antiporno, it might be better to explain what watching a movie by this incredible Japanese director really means.
Have you ever heard people saying “Asiatic movies are far too complex, I can’t understand them”? There you go, I’m sure that not even Asians can “understand” Sion. At least not at the first viewing.
Every year, a colourful caravan comes to town to celebrate its major institution (cinema), in a jamboree where everybody is welcome, from the most unknown dreamer to the most renowned film critic. For its 34th edition, the Torino Film Festival flaunts an uncommon dress, purple as punk and black as a horror picture. Continua la lettura di Opening press conference of the 34th TFF→
Young, lively, dynamic and, I would add, confident.
These are the adjectives that were most frequently heard during the dynamic and cheerful press conference for the second biggest Italian movie event of the year. This 33rd edition of TFF was opened by the Saxophone Ensemble of Conservatoire G. Verdi in hall 2 of Cinema Massimo playing the famous Indiana Jones theme song, which was enthusiastically cheered by journalists and representatives of the most important Turin institutions.
Young is probably the most appropriate word to describe the TFF, since the work presented are often the first, second, or at most third of their directors, who are usually independent. The section “Onde”, in particular, with its co-curator Roberto Manassero, has always dealt with extreme innovation, both thematic and technical. As usual, this year “Onde” selected 15 films among different formats, Super 8 mm film, Super 16, VHS, digital films and videoart contaminations. The search for innovation has also been confirmed by TFF Doc’s curator, Davide Oberto, who explained that “all sections are based of new independent talents to be explored”.
Enthusiasm marked every speech during the press conference, included that of Director Emanuela Martini, who started by pointing out TFF’s several partnerships with important institutions of Turin, which had been established in the past or in recent years and will be part of the event this year too.
Among them, she underlined the collaboration with Circolo dei Lettori and RAI. The local cultural centre wil host a two-day pre-festival event focusing on science fiction readings. (Pincio racconta Dick and 1984) whereas the Italian public television broadcaster RAI will welcome TFF staff within its historical buildings and will be promoting the event during the festival by broadcasting a self-produced spot on its channels. The new director of RAI headquarter in Turin, Pietro Grignani, confirmed how essential such a concrete collaboration is, being both partners cultural companies and sharing a common identity. Paolo Damilano talked about a “metropolitan” festival, in the sense that it wil get the whole city talking about cinema” and, speaking of that, Maurizio Braccialarghe, Councillor for Culture of the city of Turin, confirmed the constant tendency to make Turin a city of arts and evolution of techniques. particularly when it comes to cinema. As usual, the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, represented by its President, Patrizia Sandretto, is also on the front line amongst collaborations with TFF and this year it will even curate and host a subsection of the “Onde” section, ARTRUM: short films of a phantasmatic nature set in post-apocalyptic landscapes, all relating to contemporary art.
After introducing TFF’s several important partners, the press conference came to the heart of the matter: a short review of the festival movies and their connected events.
Aside from what had already been publicly disclosed, such as the homage to Orson Welles , the pre-opening film by Pietro Marcello and the opening film Suffragette, both the Director and the two curators of the film festival revealed a lot of information about this edition. There will be 15 films competing this year, 4 of which are Italian. For the section Festa Mobile, the Gran Premio Torino will be assigned to the English director and screenwriter Terence Davies for his Sunset Song. In the same section the artistic director made special mention of the movie by Gianni Zanasi La felicità è un sistema complesso (Happiness is a difficult system) and the main actress Hadas Yaron, awarded as best leading actress in Venezia film festival and Torino film festival 32 playing in Felix et Meirà.
There will also be the Cipputi Prize, celebrating 20 years from its foundation, and this will go to Francesca Comencini for her short feature movie In fabbrica (In a factory). The Maria Adriana Polo Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Lorena Mazzetti. Two of her films, K and Together will be played during the festival. This year the guest director will be Julian Temple, who loves Torino film festival and used his latest movie The ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (guitarist of the band Dr. Feelgood, terminally ill with cancer, saved at the eleventh hour by an operation) as a starting point to regroup seven movies, all linked together by a macro theme: Questioni di vita e di morte, where the protagonists are exactly these two unavoidable presences, which make human beings just what they are. “About dystopia and surreal” are the words that best define the retrospective, which is starting in this edition and will be continuing in the next one: Cose che verranno. La terra vista dal cinema, under the direction of Emanuela Martini, is the section dedicated to science fiction and to impossible or catastrophically future worlds, where in the battle between utopia and antiutopia, is the second one which unluckily wins. Davide Oberto, the curator of TFF doc, then talked in detail about the themes of the films proposed for the Festival. In addition to the usual subdivision between International.doc and Italian.doc, the will be a focus on Mediterranean, seen not only as tragic and a protagonist in the current affairs, but also as a source of creativity (9 films in this subsection). In addition, there will be several special events such as screening of Fondo Mossina Miss Cinema shot on 16mm that shows us unexpected portraits of hopeful young people from 1942 to 1952 and the screening of two Chantal Ackerman’s films.
Finally, the Director of TorinoFilmLab Savina Neirotti presented the 8 selected films and clearly restated the importance of the didactic aim that lies at the basis of this creative community. Pride of place was also enjoyed by the restored versions of Terrore nello spazio and Tragica Alba a Dongo, a short film that was once banned and thought lost, which portrays the final hours of Mussolini in Dongo, in a quick overview presented by Emanuela Martini.
Liveliness and dynamism are the adjectives that best describe the sponsor of the event, Chiara Francini. The actress was specially appointed taking into consideration the image this festival aims to convey for its 33rd edition. The awareness of last year’s big success (which made it possible to have 11 theaters available this year) gives the organizers of this festival the right confidence and the possibility to rely on a widespread public approval.
A press conference is often a useful instrument for getting rid of any doubts about a film. “La sapienza” is undoubtedly one of those films that must be discussed a lot, whether for its techniques, its narration or the recitative style of its actors. It is a film in which each shot represents a room (in fact the underlying theme is architecture) and each actor talks with themselves without interacting with the others. Each line is pronounced clearly and it represents a struggle rather than a sentence with a meaning. It is a kind of cinema that may not please people.
Emanuela Martini is a practical person, focused on the substance of things and not interested in any glamour related to the festival. This is partially why the 32nd edition of the Torino Film Festival has suffered some financial cuts, does not have any big acclaimed stars, nor a red carpet or a godmother of the festival. (although there will be an anti-godmother: Anna Mazzamauro). Therefore, this attitude will perfectly match the personality of the new festival director, who proves to be capable of making these cuts her strong point and an opportunity to prove that, other than films, everything is boredom