Archivi tag: torino film festival

“INMERSIÓN” BY NICOLÁS POSTIGLIONE

Article by Sara Longo

Translated by Giulia Baldo

The boat trip of a father with his two daughters will soon become a nightmare. This is the simple premise on which is built Inmersión, the debut feature film of Chilean director Nicolás Postiglione that investigates what’s underneath its characters. «It’s a shame that no one comes here anymore» comments the father, while observing with nostalgia the places where he grew up, now apparently deserted. And yet, the unstable balance of the three protagonists is definitely destroyed by the encounter with some castaways who, after being welcomed aboard, start to make the father seriously fear for his and his daughters’ lives.

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GIUSEPPE PICCIONI, PREMIO MARIA ADRIANA PROLO 2021

Il riconoscimento intitolato a Maria Adriana Prolo, fondatrice del Museo Nazionale del Cinema, quest’anno è stato assegnato a Giuseppe Piccioni. Un premio alla carriera, alla memoria dei suoi film, alle battaglie silenziose che questi hanno saputo raccontare.

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TORINO 39 SHORT FILMS

Article by Redazione DAMS

Translated by Valerio Copponi

Over the last two years, Torino Film Festival has given new life to the short film category by bringing them back in the official competition in the last edition. This year, they were at the centre of an interesting novelty: each of the twelve films selected by Daniele De Cicco has accompanied one of the feature films in competition before their respective screenings during the days of the festival. A signal of recognition and respect towards an increasingly popular practice in Italy, which has its core in the Turinese festival.

“LIBERTY” BY JOHANNA RÓŻNIAK

A group of youngsters fight for their ideals: an unacceptable action to the society which dominates the dystopian future in which the Polish director’s short film takes place.

Kuba, a young member of the opposition group, gets arrested and finds himself inside a super high-tech prison from which he could never escape, were it not for the help of his father, an important politician. The increasingly stringent limitations imposed on young people, the abuse of power by law enforcement, the technology able to violate any semblance of privacy, the recommendation: all these current themes are analysed perfectly over 14 minutes of terrifying reality.

“NIGHT” BY AHMAD SALEH

Starry and deadly night, a merciful goddess who, like a mother, puts to sleep her children, exhausted by the bombs, by the dust and by the unrelenting pain. A woman rebels against the sweet lullaby, lets out a desperate cry, an appeal of hope to find her young daughter, lifeless, buried under the rubble: what can the Night do but bring peace to her soul, as well? Palestinian director Ahmad Saleh, in this grueling short film, talks about the infamy of war, which forces men to accept their departure peacefully, as the only solution to rid themselves of the constant threat of the shootings and violence.  

“LA ÚLTIMA PIEZA DEL PUZZLE” BY RICARDO MUÑOZ

Freedom, continuously evoked by the words on the poster: “PUEBLO SATISFECHO, PUEBLO LIBRE” (“satisfied People, free People”), and its denial, which can be caused by something as simple as reacting to law enforcement authorities, are at the core of the short film by the Venezuelan director. By narrating the simple story of citizen Albertini, who is always missing one piece to complete his puzzles, Ricardo Muñoz lets out a cry of rebellion against the main totalitarian regimes which have dominated numerous countries and continue to do so.

“MAVKA” BY ANASTASIA LEDKOVA

The short film by Anastasia Ledkova is an exquisite, dream-like look at a family tragedy. The death of a woman might be the right time for her son and husband to start a new life. The two of them have different views on the idea of moving, but all that is overshadowed when the son finds a sweet and mysterious girl, concussed, on the bank of a river. The unknown girl wins over the two protagonists with her elegance and innocence, behind which hides a terrible truth that will hit them both hard.

“BACKYARD CAMPING” BY MOR HANAY

A peaceful and pleasant night under the stars seems to be the best way to resolve, although temporarily, the numerous family problems that the protagonist couple have and are aware of. The backyard is the setting, the camping tent becomes a fortress, but the desired resolution never comes, because of a surreal thief and an unbeatable tree.

“RENDEZ-VOUS” BY ROSHANAK AJAMIAN

Baran and Navid are a young Iranian couple going through a crisis. Baran intends to end the relationship as she is in love with her husband’s sister. The shock is painful, especially considering that they have recently moved to Canada, and Navid could have never predicted the end of the relationship. The director chooses to alternate between the two on a date and fragments of Baran crying desperately in the car, aware of the suffering that is about to come.

“LA CATTIVA NOVELLA” BY FULVIO RISULEO

This animated short by Fulvio Risuleo offers an elaborate meditation on the relationship with death, religion, and the future of human relationships in the new world that is moving forward.

The film is divided into three acts, each accompanied by three songs by singer-songwriter Mirko Mancini (aka Mirkoeilcane, ed.). Although the musician’s voice is fundamental to hold the metaphorical reflection together, the metaphysical content which accompanies the descent of Jesus on Earth is completely overshadowed by the visual plotline featured in the film’s mise-en-scène. The three tones corresponding to the different acts of the short film are extremely effective: the first act, dedicated to the Black Angel, is white and cold; the second act, containing the preparation for the descent, is black and gloomy; the last act, which chronicles the old Giovanni’s funeral, is colourful and warm.

“JUNKO” BY MINSHO LIMBU

The story of Junko is the story of many Nepalese new brides, forced to live far away from their husbands who leave for India looking for a job.

Minsho Limbu decides to chronicle, with echoes of Beckett, the young woman’s wait for her Godot, who may never return home.

The directing is elegant and subtle, the camera lingers on Junko’s microcosm, accompanying her in the realisation of her future solitude, as it was for her mother and for the women of previous generations. Limbu studies every shot in detail, as the production design remains essential and functional to what is being told; in this way, the story almost seems to tell itself in front of the lens. The film is an example of great storytelling, it leaves no questions unanswered and chronicles, without pity and sentimentalism, a cross-section of the cultural life in Nepal.

“NEON MEETS ARGON” BY JAMES DOHERTY

The whole problem of life, then, is this: how to break out of one’s own loneliness, how to communicate with others. Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living: Diaries.

Immersed in a blaze of colours, an Hephaestus with an Irish accent accepts a young apprentice into his peculiar neon sign factory. Alienated by the community and unfamiliar with social relations because of his prolonged isolation, the old craftsman’s neon light turns on thanks to the arrival of a friendly individual who bursts into his dull daily routine. The two lost souls struggle to communicate, but the barriers are broken down by the need of finding themselves through one another.

“BABATOURA” BY GUILLAUME COLLIN

Making the most of a frantic style of directing which chases after the characters’ dialogues through fast-paced, back-and-forth exchanges, the short film by Guillaume Collin describes the delicate balance of a Canadian family, gathered for dinner.

Many secrets and fears grip the heart of Benoit, worried that his family will not accept the illegitimate son which his partner carries in her womb. The mise-en-scene helps to understand the nature of each of the diners seated around the table, and simultaneously displays their reaction to the shocking news that destroys the principles of a traditional family, thus measuring the extent of their love for one another.

“LA NOTTE BRUCIA” BY ANGELICA GALLO

Riding the (overlong) wave of crime stories set in the outskirts of Rome, a theme and a leitmotif which have oversaturated Italian cinema in the last few years, director Angelica Gallo condemns an environment in which teenagers find no way to emerge as individuals and as members of society, other than associating themselves with criminals. The presence of Marcello Fonte e Aniello Arena enriches a genre short film which depicts teenagers living on the street like stray dogs, working in packs to survive, but ready to betray one another in the name of a god who knows no morals: money.

“AIN’T NO MERCY FOR RABBITS” DI ALIZA BRUGGER

Director Aliza Brugger presents in competition an all-female western film that revolutionises the genre as it has traditionally been imagined, by reinventing the woman’s role: no more a defenseless creature, incapable of providing for herself in an arid and treacherous environment, like that of the desert. Indeed, the small Ronan lives with her ailing grandmother in a hostile environment, far away from any kind of civilization and from natural resources. They are surrounded by a rocky horizon, but no cowboy comes galloping to their rescue. “You gonna be the wolf or the rabbit?”: this is the question that runs through the mind of the young protagonist who, inspired by her grandmother’s teachings, fights against the fear of not being able to survive. Knowing that she can only rely on her abilities, the young Ronan learns to ride, a symbol of independence and freedom.

“ANOTHER BRICK ON THE WALL” BY ZHANG NAN

Article by Alessandro Pomati

Translated by Elena Soldà

In 1977 in China, a few months after the fall of Mao Tse-tung and the subsequent reassembly of the Communist Party of China, a valley not far from the city-prefecture of Tangshan, in the province of Hebei, is submerged in order to create an artificial dam that can supply water to the nearby big city. Underwater, however, not only the houses and shops that have been cleared run out, but also an entire stretch of the Great Wall, the monument that more than any other, perhaps, characterizes China in the world. Forty years after the construction of the dam, some local inhabitants, noting the misery of the conditions of a part of the wall on the surrounding hills, decide to put on a restoration operation to give new prestige to the millenary monument.

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“LOS PLEBES” BY EDUARDO GIRALT ED EMMANUEL MASSU’

Article by Luca Delpiano

Translated by Lorenzo Papa

Los plebes, the documentary presented in TFF’s “The rooms of Rol” section, dives into the intimacy of young millennial sicarios who roam Sinaloa, Mexico, at the service of drug traffickers, showing their passions and hopes for the future. And, by dwelling on these budding assassins’ use of social media to recount their double lives, the story tries to question the media and offers a profound reflection on death.

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“JANE PAR CHARLOTTE” BY CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG

Article by Lisa Cortopassi

Translated by Federica Maria Briglia

«Filming you with the camera is just an excuse to watch you», says Gainsbourg Birkin, with a sweet and quiet tone, during one of the first scenes of Jane Par Charlotte. The movie premiered at the 74th edition of Cannes Film Festival and was proposed again at the TFF39 in the “Surprise” section. It immediately crosses the cold boundaries of the biographic documentary, taking the form of an intimate and very lively conversation between mother and daughter. There lies the hiatus between these two identities which, like the hiatus between biography and autobiography, becomes more and more ephemeral, until it involves also Joe, Charlotte’s youngest daughter.

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“COMING HOME IN THE DARK” BY JAMES ASHCROFT

Article by Enrico Nicolosi

Translated by Martina Rosso

“Rol’s room”, a parallel section of TFF39 dedicated to genre cinema, opens with Coming home in the dark, which warns the viewer right from the start. The Hoaganraad family, on a trip to an isolated stretch of New Zealand coastline, comes across two mysterious vagrants and the doubt immediately arises: has this encounter been meticulously planned or is it nothing more than a cruel twist of fate?

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“YEAST” BY CYOP&KAF

Article by Ada Turco

Translated by Gianluca Zogno

Naples-based street art duo Cyop&Kaf are back in theatres with a new documentary, following their 2013 critically acclaimed The Secret (2013), which was presented during Torino Film Festival’s 31st edition. Their new film, Yeast, is the result of a twenty-year-old reflection. Using their camera to follow a summer camp, a theatre laboratory inside of a museum and a judo dojo, the two directors wonder about educational practices, starting from the level of the student-teacher relationship.

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“RIEN À FOUTRE” BY JULIE LECOUSTRE AND EMMANUEL MARRE

Article by Laura Anania

Translated by Elèna Bellino

Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre present their first long feature film out of competition, a story that moves along a double track: the almost documentary-like representation of low-cost airline flight attendants and the main character’s introspective analysis, as she is unable to work through her grief. 

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“ITALIA, IL FUOCO E LA CENERE” BY OLIVIER BOHLER AND CÉLINE GAILLEURD

Article by Alice Ferro

Translated by Mirko Giumentaro

Italia, il fuoco e la cenere is a poetic and oneiric journey through the divas, ghosts, lights, and shadows of Italian silent cinema. It explores its most material essence, it brings its lantern closer to the flesh, the bodies, the bare shoulders in the half-light, the penetrating gazes, the feverish convulsions of the divas. The erotic component is central: cinema made the prudes tremble, in the darkened rooms it allowed women and men to blend. The cinematic exploration becomes a historical exploration and paints the reality of a country in constant transformation, from the pompous and resplendent scenes to the decadence and abyss of fascism that are inexorably approaching.

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“INMERSIÓN” DI NICOLÁS POSTIGLIONE

La gita in barca di un padre insieme alle sue due figlie si trasformerà presto in un incubo. È questa la semplice premessa su cui si costruisce Inmersión, lungometraggio d’esordio del regista cileno Nicolás Postiglione che indaga ciò che c’è sotto la superficie dei suoi personaggi. «È un peccato non venga più nessuno qui»  commenta il padre osservando con nostalgia i luoghi in cui è cresciuto, ora apparentemente disabitati. Eppure, l’equilibrio precario dei tre protagonisti è definitivamente sconvolto proprio dall’incontro con alcuni naufraghi che, accolti a bordo dell’imbarcazione, iniziano a destare nel padre il timore che le loro vite siano in serio pericolo.

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TORINO 39 CORTI

Il Torino Film Festival nell’ultimo biennio ha dato nuova linfa alla categoria dei cortometraggi, rientrati in competizione ufficiale dalla scorsa edizione e quest’anno protagonisti di una interessante novità. Ognuno dei dodici film selezionati da Daniele De Cicco, infatti, ha accompagnato uno dei lungometraggi in concorso durante le rispettive proiezioni nei giorni del festival. Un segnale di attenzione e rispetto verso una pratica sempre più viva in Italia e che ritrova la sua centralità nella rassegna torinese.

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“LA NOTTE PIù LUNGA DELL’ANNO” BY SIMONE ALEANDRI

Article by Giulia Seccia

Translated by Lorenzo Papa

“You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”
Samuel Beckett


In Potenza, during the night of the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – a woman is dissatisfied with her job, three boys are trying to escape adulthood, a corrupt politician is attempting to achieve some sort of salvation, and the heart of a young boy gets broken. These are the stories that Simone Aleandri’s film, out of competition at the Turin Film Festival, weaves together; stories of characters in crisis, unstable, different stories that converge, however, in the same place: a gas station, the place where the film begins.

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“UNDEAD VOICES” BY MARIA IORIO AND RAPHAËL CUOMO; “È SOLO A NOI CHE STA LA DECISIONE” BY ISABELLA BRUNO

Article by Alice Ferro

Translated by Valerio Copponi

A Super 8mm amateur film, made in 1975, abandoned in the director’s basement for years, seriously damaged by the humidity coming from the lake near her house: this is the starting point of Undead Voices, the documentary by Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo which aims to revive the feminist film Donne emergete! by Isabella Bruno. The story of Donne emergete! is shared by many films about militant feminism: «There was not enough interest in preserving them and they were considered unworthy» commented the curator and art historian Annamaria Licciardello, emphasising how this issue adds to that of the already limited number of feminists who have tried their hand at directing, in this historical period.

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“EL PLANETA” BY AMALIA ULMAN

Article by Anna Quarto

Translated by Francesca Schiavello

Multidisciplinary artist Amalia Ulman debuted in competition at TTF 39 with her first feature film “El planeta”, already presented at the 2021 Sundance Festival. The micro-budget and a small crew of five make this debut an experiment that evokes the independent American cinema of the 1990s.

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AVI MOGRABI – MASTERCLASS / “THE FIRST 54 YEARS – AN ABBREVIATED MANUAL FOR MILITARY OCCUPATION”

Article by Cristian Cerutti

Translated by Gianluca Zogno

An Abbreviated Manual to Free Cinema from Reality – Avi Mograbi’s Documentarist Forays, the title of Israeli director’s masterclass, is fairly self-explanatory. It closely mirrors the title of his film, The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation, which has been presented in the TFFDoc / non-competing section, and it mirrors its approach as well.

In both cases the director starts from specific images – the full-length features Z32 (2008) and The First 54 Years in the case of the masterclass and the archive of interviews belonging to the Breaking the Silence association in the case of the film – to be able to push for deeper thoughts in the respective fields, in this case military strategy and documentary films.

Thanks to this empiric process The First 54 Years allows the director to create a manual on military occupation techniques through the observation of multiple testimonies.

In very much the same way the director has used his two films as indisputable examples during the masterclass to show off the various possibilities of reality cinema. Although the two documentaries are based on the same source material, they go in different directions leading to two very different results. Z32 is entirely based on a war veteran’s ponderings about the actions he has committed throughout his military service. The First 54 Years, on the other hand, refuses any possibility of elaborating trauma, focusing instead on witnesses’ tales which expose facts and mechanisms regarding the Israeli occupation. As previously mentioned, the source material for both documentaries is made up of soldiers’ testimonies which have been collected by Breaking the Silence, an association founded by Mograbi himself with the aim of telling the story and the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to keep alive those memories which governments from 1967 onwards have attempted to erase.

Z32 was created with the idea of making a fairly straightforward film telling the story of a soldier who regrets having taken part in a retaliatory action against Palestinian policemen. The possibility of making a movie centered around the emotions and thoughts of the soldier is hampered by the fact that the man does not want his face to be shown. This was solved thanks to the director’s intuition to cover the soldier’s face with a 3D digital mask which still left his eyes and mouth visible, thus enabling him to show his emotions. This solution notwithstanding, the veteran still found it hard to express himself freely. Mograbi then decided to give the soldier a camera, to allow him to autonomously reflect upon his actions. At this time the man’s girlfriend becomes a relevant figure, given that she takes part in the soldier’s ponderings and opposing his attempts to absolve himself. At the same time, the director is questioning the moral dilemmas surrounding his film: is it fair to hide a murderer inside one’s work? It is fair to exploit his story? These thoughts are told by the director via songs, almost as if the musical were a mask used to filter his reflections, similarly to what happens to the protagonist.

The First 54 Years moves in a different direction. In this case Mograbi uses a number of testimonies from Breaking the Silence’s archives, in order to make a film made up of a series of interviews. Mograbi focuses here on tales of actions, procedures, orders and mechanisms of Israeli military operations in Palestina, leading the viewer like a military tactics expert. The director, like a modern Machiavelli, recites passages of an imaginary military occupation manual which uses the Israeli case – from the 1967 West Bank occupation to the first and second Intifadas – as an examples to prove its points. These are harsh words which contrast strongly with Mograbi as a person, in a powerful attack towards the Israeli state confirming, once again, the director’s ability to question reality, internalize it and decline it in different ways – ironically, cinically, experimentally – which are always functional to a critical analysis of the world.

“JANE PAR CHARLOTTE” DI CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG

«Riprenderti con la videocamera è solo una scusa per guardarti», dice Gainsbourg a Birkin, con quel suo tono dolce e pacato, in una delle prime scene di Jane Par Charlotte, film presentato in anteprima alla 74ª edizione del Festival di Cannes – e riproposto al TFF39 nella sezione Surprise. Il film oltrepassa subito i freddi confini del documentario biografico assumendo la forma di una conversazione intima e sensibilmente viva tra madre e figlia, dove lo iato tra queste due identità (così come quello tra biografia e autobiografia) si fa sempre più labile, fino a coinvolgere anche Joe, la figlia più piccola di Charlotte.

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“DER MENSCHLICHE FAKTOR” BY RONNY TROCKER

Article by Valentina Velardi

Translated by Giulia Baldo

«I have the impression that the more massive our communication is, and the more we consume points of view and opinions, the more superficial that communication gets». This is how Ronny Trocker comments on the subject of his film which, by observing the reactions of the different members of what seems to be the perfect German family  – educated, wealthy and bilingual – following a little break-in at their beach house, examines human relationships and the dynamics, often disfunctional, underlying them.

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“ITALIA, IL FUOCO E LA CENERE” DI OLIVIER BOHLER E CÉLINE GAILLEURD

Italia, il fuoco e la cenere si presenta come un viaggio poetico e onirico attraverso le dive, i fantasmi, le luci e le ombre del cinema muto italiano. Ne esplora l’essenza più materica, avvicina la propria lanterna alla carne, ai corpi, alle spalle scoperte nella penombra, agli sguardi penetranti, alle convulsioni febbrili delle dive. La componente erotica è centrale: il cinema faceva tremare i benpensanti, nelle sale buie permetteva a donne e uomini di mescolarsi. L’esplorazione cinematografica diventa esplorazione storica e dipinge la realtà di un paese in continuo mutamento, dalle scene pompose e splendenti alla decadenza e all’abisso del fascismo che si avvicinano inesorabili.

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