Tutti gli articoli di Elena Messana

“ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE” BY JIA ZANGKE

Article by: Elio Sacchi

Translation by: Giulia Maiorana

Thanks also to the well-established artistic partnership with Zhao Tao, fetish actress who appears in almost every Jia Zangke’s film, the director creates a fil rouge, which links all his works. These works narrate, through their characters’ stories, the author’s life and, at the same time, the history of China, which remains in the background. Ash is the Purest White keeps going on this path, offering the viewer a journey which goes from the beginning of the century to the present days, walking a thousand miles.

Continua la lettura di “ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE” BY JIA ZANGKE

“IL GIGANTE PIDOCCHIO” BY PAOLO SANTANGELO

Article by: Marco De Bartolomeo

Translation by: Emiliana Freiria

His name is Gaspare. He is a tall and big man with large shepherd arms and a nice expression. He started working with sheeps when he was 14 years old and he never stopped since then, neither on holidays. After all – to quote one of his favourite mottos – to live truly means doing, acting, constantly moving. The rest, to him, is only mere existence. Continua la lettura di “IL GIGANTE PIDOCCHIO” BY PAOLO SANTANGELO

“CASSANDRO, THE EXOTICO!” BY MARIE LOSIER

Article by: Beatrice Ceravolo

Translation by: Zoé Kerichard-Giorgi

The relationship between a documentarian and the subjects he films is fundamental for the success of a project: in the case of Marie Losier and Cassandro, personalities of the lucha libre and protagonists of this movie contending for the TFFDoc/International section, we witness a still strong friendship, born six years ago.  Continua la lettura di “CASSANDRO, THE EXOTICO!” BY MARIE LOSIER

“OIKTOS” BY BABIS MAKRIDIS

Article by: Cristian Viteritti

Translation by: Silvia Fontana

People respond in different ways to accidents, tragedies or griefs: those who directly experiences them are immerged in contrasting feelings of denial and anger, which gradually transform into acceptance. Whereas those who are not affected by pain try to support the former, showing compassion and trying to lighten the pain of those who suffer.

Continua la lettura di “OIKTOS” BY BABIS MAKRIDIS

“BAD POEMS” BY GÁBOR REISZ

Article by: Cristina Danini

Translation by: Alice Marchi

As Tamàs (Gábor Reisz) is left by Anna, he doesn’t seem able to accept it. He wanders around Paris and comes back to his hometown Budapest, but he doesn’t want to talk to anybody about it. Life around him goes on, people find jobs, have children and talk about politics, but no one seems to understand him, not for real. His pain is just his, and no one else’s. Tamàs feels trapped in a mute movie where everyone passes him by, as if Anna had taken his life and his happy memories away from him. Tamàs is lost and, maybe, he really did lost himself, like it always happens when the end of a love-story hits us unexpectedly. Continua la lettura di “BAD POEMS” BY GÁBOR REISZ

“THE FIRST MOTION OF THE IMMOVABLE” BY SEBASTIANO D’AYALA VALVA

Article by: Gianluca Tana

Translation by: Daniele Gianolio

A deafening music that dazes the listener while at the same time brings him to a far and remote place, a man who claimed to be guided by the Daevas in the composition of his lyrics and who spent his entire life in a psychiatric hospital, heavily stigmatized by the music scene of his own time. In short, Giacinto Scelsi appears to be a character taken out from the pages of a story by H. P. Lovercraft. The documentary by Sebastiano d’Ayala Valva, a descendant of the composer, succeeds in overcoming this damnation memoriae by portraying a man aware of his own means, a precursor of his time who, as often happens to the great visionaries, is not acknowledged by his contemporaries and thus, disdained. Continua la lettura di “THE FIRST MOTION OF THE IMMOVABLE” BY SEBASTIANO D’AYALA VALVA

“LA DISPARITION DES LUCIOLES” BY SÉBASTIEN PILOTE

Article by: Fulvio Melito

Translation by: Cinzia Angelini

Sébastien Pilote presents a film that moves between lights and shadows, and socio-economic issues. The key to interpret the film and its characters is to be found precisely in the title, La disparition des lucioles: as communicated by the radio announcer, it seems that the fireflies have become extinct for unclear reasons but, certainly, because of mankind. They are small lights in the dark which transform the disquieting into something romantic, just like the protagonist, who lives in a city afflicted by the lack of work and closed in a generational immobility.

Continua la lettura di “LA DISPARITION DES LUCIOLES” BY SÉBASTIEN PILOTE

ITALIANA.CORTI – PROGRAMME 2

Article by: Alessia Durante

Translation by: Laura Facciolo

A red door. An elevator. We are inside. That’s how Anna Franceschini, the director of What Time Is Love, shows us into a weird and forsaken place. We are in Nuremberg, and it soon becomes clear that we are in a building where toys are tested with the purpose of getting the suitability for the European Community. The images follow each other as fixed shots: a dancing panda, a saxophonist reindeer, a plastic tractor, an elephant puppet. They are suffering many tortures, because even objects can be subjected to violence.  Continua la lettura di ITALIANA.CORTI – PROGRAMME 2

“TEMPORADA” BY ANDRÉ NOVAIS OLIVEIRA

Article by: Fabrizio Spagna

Translation by: Emiliana Freiria

What clear shots this film has, and what natural colours, free from the aesthetical and lighting limitations that some works show. Temporada has a carioca soul, thanks to the vitality and the refinement that the viewer can feel and understand from the first images, while walking the boulevards on the hills of Contagem, a southern metropolis in Brasil, a huge and contradictory country.

Continua la lettura di “TEMPORADA” BY ANDRÉ NOVAIS OLIVEIRA

“HOMO BOTANICUS” BY GUILLERMO QUINTERO

Article by: Andrea Bagnasco

Translation by: Cristiana Manni

The botanist Julio Betancur and his assistant Cristian Castro walk through the Colombian jungle collecting and cataloguing numerous plant species.

Continua la lettura di “HOMO BOTANICUS” BY GUILLERMO QUINTERO

“RIDE” BY VALERIO MASTANDREA

Article by: Alessia Durante

Translation by: Maria Elisa Catalano

Probably, only Valerio Mastandrea could title Ride (which means ‘to laugh’ in Italian) a film about pain and mourning: a title which becomes caustic and, as he declared during the press conference, a little paradoxical too. Especially considering that the protagonist Carolina laughs very little in those ninety minutes of darkness and, if not for what the other characters say to her (and to us), we would not see her laughing at all.

Continua la lettura di “RIDE” BY VALERIO MASTANDREA

“MANDY” BY PANOS COSMATOS

Article by: Chiara Gioffrè

Translation by: Massimo Campostrini

Excess.

Absence.

These two words tormented me as I tried to rearrange my impressions on Mandy, a film that is atypical but coherent with the (short) filmography of its director.

Continua la lettura di “MANDY” BY PANOS COSMATOS

“ALL THESE SMALL MOMENTS” BY MELISSA B. MILLER

Article by: Cristina Danini

Translation by: Silvia Fontana

Howie (Brendan Meyer) is sixteen years old and he’s at mercy of his life.  His parents want to divorce, or so it seems, and at school a classmate of his brother shows interest in him, but he only has eyes for the beautiful girl he takes the bus with. They have never talked to each other, she is older and he is very clumsy, but when their eyes meet, they both smile. Continua la lettura di “ALL THESE SMALL MOMENTS” BY MELISSA B. MILLER

“UNAS PREGUNTAS” BY KRISTINA KONRAD

Article by: Fulvio Melito

Translation by: Cristiana Manni

In 237’ of pleasant and interesting interviews, Kristina Kondrad’s documentary, Unas preguntas wants to narrate the identity of Uruguayan people, tormented and, at the same time, tired from years of poverty and dictatorial and military governments, as well as its will to live freely. The opportunity to describe what was happening on the streets with a microphone and a camera arrived in 1987. At that time began the first demonstrations, which asked the Government the abrogation of amnesty to those soldiers who during the dictatorship were convicted of many crimes like the torture and kidnap of several people. From these waves of protest came the director’s will of acting as a catalyst of ordinary citizens’ thoughts. She intentionally avoids the names of politicians, writers, distinguished people and with lively curiosity walk through streets, squares and markets, looking for answers for the numerous questions, beginning every interview with: «What is peace for you? ». Peace was the word disputed between the right and the left alliance. It was what politics promised to a tired population, both with the maintenance of impunity law and with its abrogation. In a centrifuge of election propaganda, most people had their own concept of peace and everyone wanted it.

Continua la lettura di “UNAS PREGUNTAS” BY KRISTINA KONRAD

“ANGELO” BY MARKUS SCHLEINZER

Article by: Annagiulia Zoccarato

Translation by: Daniele Gianolio

“To accept your role in life or to rise up against it?” Angelo, the main character of Markus Schleinzer’s film competing in Torino 36, must answer this rhetorical question.

What is his role in life? Angelo was torn off from his family and land and was sold as a slave in Europe. A countess decided to buy him in order to turn the poor kid into some sort of living educational experiment. Therefore one might say that he was luckier than the average of his fellow slaves. But is it really so? The movie is set at the dawn of the 18th century, when the so-called “white man’s burden” sort of feeling was widely spread across Europe. According to it, the white, acting like a savior, would take upon himself the mission of bringing civilization to those savage and barbaric tribes and to those men who were considered as “godless, unaccustomed to hard work and born to be enslaved”. Angelo receives the upper-class upbringing, focused on music, arts and the Christian religion, and lives the well-fixed life of the nobility. However, he will never be regarded as equal by his own peers. Despite playing an important role at the Viennese court, for his entire life he will have to suffer because of the more or less subtle racism of those around him.

Continua la lettura di “ANGELO” BY MARKUS SCHLEINZER

“THE WHITE CROW” BY RALPH FIENNES

Article by: Samuele Zucchet

Translation by: Giulia Quercia

A biopic about the life of the famous dancer Rudolf Nureyev, is the third director work of Ralph Fiennes, well known for his acting career (Harry Potter, Schindler’s List, Grand Budapest Hotel, to name some of the most notorious titles). In this own film, Fiennes decides to play the dance teacher of the dance Academy of St. Petersburg (at that time, Leningrad).

Continua la lettura di “THE WHITE CROW” BY RALPH FIENNES

“RELAXER” BY JOEL POTRYKUS

Article by: Cristian Viteritti

Translation by: Massimo Campostrini


There are films easy to review and others that are difficult. Relaxer, directed by the American director Joel Potrykus, deserves to enter the second category. The film is certainly one of the most singular and eccentric experiences of the Torino Film Festival: not only comedy and drama, but also science fiction and gore – shown in a totally unexpected way – come together in a mixture ready to explode in the most catastrophic event among all: the Apocalypse.

Continua la lettura di “RELAXER” BY JOEL POTRYKUS

“LAND” BY BABAK JALALI

 

Article by: Annagiulia Zoccarato

Translation by: Emiliana Freiria

 

The contemporary history of Native Americans is sad and scarcely talked about, but the Torino Film Festival seems to hold those who tell it in high regard. After Avant les rues, competing in Torino 34, and the excellent Wind River by Taylor Sheridan, previewed last year, the next one is Land by the Iranian film director Babak Jalali, made with the support of Torino Film Lab.

Continua la lettura di “LAND” BY BABAK JALALI

“TREVICO-TORINO” BY ETTORE SCOLA

Article by: Elia Ariel Diamond

Translation by: Melania Petricola

“But you are going to school…you went to school. If not, how can you say that books are like skylarks? I want to understand that. Then, I can criticise it. But only after understanding, and not just because you say so.”

Continua la lettura di “TREVICO-TORINO” BY ETTORE SCOLA

“HEVI REISSU/HEAVY TRIP” BY JUUSO LAATIO AND JUKKA VIDGREN

Article by: Maria Cagnazzo

Translation by: Cristiana Manni

The real essence of humour is very difficult to understand and, very often, many movies with humorous purposes seem to be unable to reach their goals. Telling a simple story, making it meaningful only with humour is a particularly complex operation.

I’m making this introduction because Heavy Trip, Finnish movie presented in the After Hours section at the Torino Film Festival, first of all, gave me the impression of being totally and happily focused on humour. On a cold morning in Turin, together with a laughing and clapping audience in theatre 1 at Cinema Massimo, I grasped an irony that preceded any other possible reasoning on the film.

On the screen, in a close-up, we can see a reindeer crossing the road and, in the distance, out of focus, the main character walking and dragging his rusty bike. The premises are pretty clear: the protagonists of this odd story will be Finland, its distinctive landscape, its animals and the people who live there.

A Heavy Metal band tries to make a name for itself in a small village far away from us, where “loud” music is not common, where people who have long hair are considered “homo”, and, more importantly, where the stereotype tends to creep into everyday life. Heavy Trip has all the hallmarks of a road movie: the band follows the dream of doing a concert in Norway and will be willing to do anything to reach its destination, finding itself in very unlikely situations.

 

 

The irony of the film is simple and irreverent at the same time, and the spectator finds himself laughing at situations that he probably would not perceive in the same way in real life. The screenplay makes constant reference to the stereotypes about Heavy Metal and aims to make the main characters look funny and ridiculous, dispelling all the still persistent myths about this kind of music. Therefore, there is a reversal of positions: those who feel superior and in the position of ridiculing the others are shown here in a comic and farcical way. Thus, a comedy of misinterpretations takes place, where the misunderstanding becomes the element which provokes the laughter. The prejudice and the stereotype turn the characters into caricatures. So, for example, it may happen that the police mistake a group of masked boys who are celebrating a hen party for terrorists.

The sequences in which the band plays in the basement are assembled like a real metal videoclip, with details of the fingers moving on the bass and close- ups of a caged doll hanging from the ceiling. When the spectator is involved in a visual and auditory climax, the myth is going to crumble, as soon as the mother tells the boys that the reindeer dinner is ready. The idea of tough-looking “metalheads”, that frighten those who met them, is constantly overturned by the mild-mannered and almost compliant character of the protagonists who, overwhelmed by the events, carry out accidentally rebellious actions.

Each character is characterized to the point of becoming grotesque, and the spectator has to immediately distinguish the “good” from the “bad” guys. A narrative structure that may almost appear ordinary, but that never looks obvious thanks to the humour that supports the entire story in an excellent manner. Everything is the opposite of what it seems: the authors of Heavy Trip have taken literally the meaning of “irony”, understood as concealment, “feeling of the opposite”, giving to the audience a simple and funny comedy that is able to leave you with a smile even after the ending credits.

Continua la lettura di “HEVI REISSU/HEAVY TRIP” BY JUUSO LAATIO AND JUKKA VIDGREN