Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Locarno Film Festival - Lineup

Yesterday, the official lineup for the upcoming 65th Locarno International Film Festival was announced. The annual festival, one of the worlds oldest, runs from August 1-8.

Located in the picturesque Swiss city of Locarno, on the northern tip of Lake Maggiore, the festival is known for it's Piazza Grande, a massive open-air theatre with a capacity for 8,000 spectators and a 364 square meter screen.

19 films produced by 21 different countries from around the world, including 13 world premieres will be competing in the Concorso internazionale section for the festival's grand prize Pardo d'oro (Golden Leopard).

Winners will be decided by a jury of international film figures led by this year's Jury President Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He is joined by American director and screenwriter Roger Avary, South Korean director Im Sang-soo, French director and actress Noémie Lvovsky, and Swiss writer Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Read on for a preview of the films in competition at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival:

Concorso Internationale
The Last Time I Saw Macao (A última vez que vi Macau)
directed by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata
Portugal Portugal, France France
World Premiere. A cross between documentary and fiction set on the former Portuguese colony island featuring the two filmmakers themselves. Rodrigues describes it as “A sort of off-the-record fiction, but which has rhythm and a story – in fact, several stories that flow into each other.”

Berberian Sound Studio
directed by Peter Strickland
UK UK, Germany Germany, Australia Australia
The international premiere of UK director Peter Strickland's second feature, his first film Katalin Varga won a Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlinale. This one is a giallo inspired thriller starring Toby Jones as a timid sound engineer working on a horror film in 1970s Italy. I can't wait!

directed by Craig Zobel
The international premiere of the latest feature from Craig Zobel, co-founder of the popular Homestar Runner website. The film is based on a well publicized story about a prank caller who coerces a manager of a fast-food restaurant to inappropriately interrogate an employee behind closed doors.

The Shine of Day (Der glanz des tages)
directed by Rainer Frimmel, Tizza Covi
Austria Austria
The world premiere of the latest feature from the directorial team of Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel. Their last film La pivellina was Austria's official selection to the 2011 Oscars. This one follows Philipp, a young successful actor losing touch with the realities of life who finds a new perspective when he strikes up a friendship with the wandering Walter.

Image Problem
directed by Simon Baumann, Andreas Pfiffner
Switzerland Switzerland
The world premiere of the feature documentary from first time directors Simon Baumann and Andreas Pfiffner. Billed as a satirical documentary, which unmasks the lack of solidarity and increasing xenophobia in present day Switzerland.

Jack and Diane
directed by Bradley Rust Gray
The international premiere of American director Bradley Rust Gray's bizarre werewolf lesbian romance drama, starring Juno Temple and Riley Keough as two teenage girls from New York, one of whom has a supernatural secret.

The Girl from Nowhere (La fille de nulle part)
directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
France France
World premiere of the latest from controversial French director Jean-Claude Brisseau (The Exterminating Angels). I couldn't find any info or synopsis for it, but if his previous films are any indicator, then this one will be weird and have lots of sex.

directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
UK UK, USA USA, France France
World Premiere. A feature documentary from Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, about men at sea and fish on boats. Billed as a collaborative exploration and appreciation of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors. From the trailer this looks to be a fascinating watch.

Greatest Hits (Los Mejores Temas)
directed by Nicolás Pereda
Mexico Mexico, Canada Canada, Netherlands Netherlands
World Premiere. Mexican director Nicolás Pereda, acclaimed for his hybrid mixture of fiction and documentary, returns with a film about a young man who sells pirate music CDs in the subways of Mexico City.
Mobile Home
directed by François Pirot
Belgium Belgium, Luxembourg Luxembourg
World Premiere from first time director François Pirot. Is a comedy about two childhood friends in their thirties who decide to embark on their old teenage dream of hitting the road in a camper and living on seasonal work.

Museum Hours
directed by Jem Cohen
Austria Austria, USA USA
World Premiere feature from American director Jem Cohen, known for his political works that straddle the line between fiction and reality. Is centered around a chance encounter between a museum attendant and a Canadian tourist.

The Landlords (I Padroni di casa)
directed by Edoardo Gabbriellini
Italy Italy
World premiere of the film from Italian director Edoardo Gabbbriellini. Details are muddy, but from what I gather, it follows a pair of brothers who are contractors from Rome who end up in conflict with the landowner of a remote village where their next construction project takes place.

Playback (映画)
directed by Shô Miyake
Japan Japan
The world premiere for second time Japanese director Shô Miyake. So far unable to dig up any concrete information about this title.

directed by Julio Hernández Cordón
Guatemala Guatemala, Spain Spain, Chile Chile, Germany Germany
The world premiere of Guatemalan director Julio Hernández Cordón's third feature film. A personal story following two filmmakers making a documentary about missing people from the 1982 Guatemalan Civil War.

Somebody Up There Likes Me
directed by Bob Byington
The international premiere of Bob Byington's film that first screened at this year's SXSW Festival. Billed as a comedy about a man watching his life fly by.

directed by Sean Baker
The international premiere of the third feature from American director Sean Baker. A provocative tale focused on two women from the San Fernando Valley, starring Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway, daughter of Hollywood actress Mariel Hemingway. This one also screened at SXSW.

The End of Time
directed by Peter Mettler
Switzerland Switzerland, Canada Canada
The world premiere of acclaimed Canadian director and cinematographer Peter Mettler's latest documentary. A fascinating sounding film exploring notions of time and perception, drawing from fields of science, philosophy, religion and subjective experience.

Une Estonienne à Paris
directed by Ilmar Raag
France France, Estonia Estonia, Belgium Belgium
The world premiere of Estonian filmmaker Ilmar Raag's latest feature. It stars 84-year-old French screen legend Jeanne Moreau, looking as radiant as ever, and tells the story of an Estonian woman called to Paris to care for an elderly woman who left Estonia for France many years ago.

When Night Falls (我還有話要說)
directed by Ying Liang
South Korea South Korea
The international premiere of Chinese director Ying Liang's controversial South Korean produced film. Based on an incident that happened in Shanghai in 2008, it follows the mother of young man accused of stabbing six policemen to death. Earlier this year, Chinese authorities raided Ying's home in an unsuccessful attempt to stop it from being shown at the Jeonju International Film Festival where it premiered in April.

What do you think of this year's eclectic Locarno lineup?


Michaël Parent said...

Lots of interesting entries! Many will be on my list when they came out in North America! I would love to watch a film at the Piazza grande!

d_4 said...

So many good sounding documentaries.. But of course the one to really catch my eye is Greatest Hits. I don't think it'll be the best of the bunch, but I'm still intrigued.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah I imagine a good portion of these will get released over here, and the Piazza Grande would be a very cool experience. There's always something special about watching a film outdoors, but I cant imagine what it would be like with a crowd that sized.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah I'm not at all surprised that one got your attention.

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