Locarno Film Festival 2013 (7-17 August)

August 18th, 2013 - Graham Eley

This year’s Locarno Film Festival gets under way on Wednesday with artistic director, Carlo Chatrian, at the helm for the first time.  A varied competition line-up, which boasts 18 world premieres, includes keenly awaited new features from Corneliu Porumboiu (‘When Evening Falls on Bucharest and Metabolism’), Sangsoo Hong (‘Our Sunhi’) and Joanna Hogg (‘Exhibition’).  The international premiere of Baltasar Kormákur’s ‘2 Guns’, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, will open the festival out of competition three days after claiming the top spot at the North America box office over the weekend.


World Premieres in the main competition


E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me)
Joaquim Pinto


Joaquim Pinto’s first film for ten years, ‘E Agora? Lembra-me’ (‘What Now? Remind Me’), is a personal portrayal of the filmmaker’s battle fighting HIV after being diagnosed with the virus over twenty years ago when his life expectancy was short.  Early indications suggest that it will be a modernist reflection on time, memory and shifting realities within the perimeters of the filmmaker’s very testing circumstances.  Pinto competed for the Golden Leopard with ‘Twin Flames’ in 1992.


Expectation – highly promising with the film’s potential to operate on multiple but connected levels.



El Mudo
Daniel and Diego Vega


Daniel and Diego Vega made an immediate impression with their debut feature, ‘October’, which picked up an Un Certain Regard jury prize at Cannes three years ago.  The Peruvian filmmaking duo now return with their keenly anticipated second feature, ‘El Mudo’, a dark comedy portraying a paranoid judge in fear for his life.  The siblings’ own company, Maretazo Cine, co-produced with France’s Urban Factory and Mexico’s No Dreams Cinema.


Expectation – it is likely to be a pretext for exploring frequent allegations surrounding the Peruvian justice system and corruption.



Joanna Hogg


Potentially, Joanna Hogg’s most experimental film so far, ‘Exhibition’, previously known as the ‘London Project’, deconstructs a couple’s psychological associations with a house that they plan to leave.  The Slits’ former guitarist, Viv Albertine, and conceptual artist, Liam Gillick, star alongside Hogg regular, Tom Hiddleston, who appeared in both of the filmmaker’s previous films, ‘Archipelago’ and ‘Unrelated’, the last of which picked up the FIPRESCI prize at the London Film Festival.


Expectation – intriguing casting, which sees YBA conceptual artist, Liam Gillick, give his first performance in a film exploring themes that would not be out of place in a gallery.



Feuchtgebiete (Wetlands)
David Wnendt


Carla Juri (‘Someone Like Me’) stars in David Wnendt’s big screen adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s controversial novel, ‘Wetlands’ (the more precise translation is ‘Moist Areas’), which, for a time, was the world’s No. 1 bestseller.  The wetlands/moist areas are either provocative references or lavatorial humour for female sexual organs – take your pick – and the heroine will recount her sex exploits from a hospital bed after an anal shaving mishap.


Expectation – sexual expression as a means to women’s freedom is old hat but the film will still have the curiosity factor.



Gare du Nord
Claire Simon


Experienced filmmaker, Claire Simon, has switched between documentary and fiction, and she employs both disciplines in her latest feature ‘Gare du Nord’.  Set in the French railway station that lends the film its title, Simon explores globalisation from different perspectives through the comings and goings of overseas travellers, French citizens and immigrants.


Expectation – setting the film in a transient network – or non-space – provides huge scope for Simon to make a telling contribution towards the topical globalisation sub-genre.



Historia de la Meva Mort (Story of My Death)
Albert Serra


Casanova meets Count Dracula in Albert Serra’s latest feature, ‘Story of My Death’, starring Vincenc Altaio Morral and Lluis Massanellas Serrat, for a surreal take on the emergence of a new Romantic spirit at the outset of the 19th century.  Serra is best known for ‘Honour of the Knights (Quixotic)’, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2006 Viennale.


Expectation – a potentially interesting exploration into cultural myths could equally prove self-indulgent unless Serra strikes the right balance.



L’Etrange couleur des larmes de ton corps (The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears)
Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani


Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani made an immediate impression with their debut feature, ‘Amer’, an imaginative revision of Italian giallo horror.  Their follow-up, ‘The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears’, is another dark tale, this time based on the vanishing woman theme.


Expectations – should be another smart deconstruction of genre conventions.



Mary, Queen Of Scots
Thomas Imbach


Thomas Imbach returns to the late Tudor period for another version of ‘Mary, Queen Of Scots’ with Camille Rutherford in the title role.  It is the first time that the Swiss filmmaker has competed for the Golden Leopard since his sci-fi drama ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’ twelve years ago.


Expectations – after Nikolaj Arcel’s ‘A Royal Affair’, perhaps we should not be too hasty writing off tiresome sounding historical dramas.



Pays Barbare
Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi


The latest film from veteran documentary filmmaking team, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, explores the parameters of fascism from an historical perspective.  It is a continuation of the pair’s long deconstruction of ideologies and their conflicts.


Expectations – Gianikian’s and Ricci Lucchi’s highly experimental approach towards filmmaking should breathe new life into a familiar subject.



Sangue (Blood)
Pippo Delbono


Far-left paramilitaries continue to attract European filmmakers long after their heyday.  Pippo Delbono is the latest to tread this path with ‘Blood’ (‘Sangue’), a contemporary drama where a former Red Brigade activist forms a dangerous friendship upon his prison release.  Best known as an actor, Delbono has recently appeared in ‘I Am Love’ (Luca Guadagnino) and ‘Me and You’ (Bernardo Bertolucci).


Expectations – it will be interesting to see whether Delbono can transcend the sub-genre with a contemporary twist.



A Time in Quchi (2013)
Chang Tso-Chi


Chang Tso-Chi’s new film, ‘A Time in Quchi’, features a young boy who discovers happiness through an unlikely source when his world appears to be falling apart.  It is the follow-up to the Taiwanese filmmaker’s ‘When Love Comes’ (‘Dang Ai Lai De Shi Hou’), which bagged the top prize at the Golden Horse Film Festival three years ago.


Expectations – could be an interesting mix of charm and harsh realism.



Tableau Noir (Black Board)
Yves Yersin


Yves Yersin’s potential feel good documentary, ‘Blackboard’, takes a look at a mountain school that develops education alongside happiness.  The veteran Swiss filmmaker made a Locarno appearance 34 years ago with his best known feature, ‘Les petites fugues’.


Expectations – unlikely to offer us anything new but you never know.



Tomogui (Backwater)
Shinji Aoyama


Shinji Aoyama returns to Locarno where he picked up a special jury prize for ‘Tôkyô kôen’ two years ago.  Masaki Suda, Misaki Kinoshita and Yûko Tanaka (‘The Milkwoman’, ‘Hibi’) star in his latest feature, ‘Backwater’, a dark tale where a father and son both inflict abusive sex on their partners.  Aoyama is best known for ‘Eureka’, which won a FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes.


Expectations – a potentially different spin on abusive relationships from festival favourite, Shinji Aoyama, who will always attract interest.



Guillaume Brac


After picking up a César nomination for his short(ish) ‘A World Without Women’, Guillaume Brac makes the move to features with ‘Tonnerre’.  A young woman, who is psychologically trapped in an earlier romance, dumbfounds a thirty something musician played by Vincent Macaigne.


Expectations – an early interest in Guillaume Brac’s debut feature has already translated into a pre-festival buzz.



U Ri Sunhi (Our Sunhi)
Sangsoo Hong


Jeong Yu-mi reunites with Sangsoo Hong after working together on ‘In Another Country’ and plays a 30 year old woman who has enigmatic encounters with three men from her past.  A key figure in the vibrant South Korean indie film sector, Hong is best known for ‘Hahaha’, which won the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes two years ago.


Expectations – Hong’s strong reputation on the festival circuit and beyond makes ‘Our Sunhi’ an early possible contender for the Golden Leopard.



Une Autre Vie (Another Life)
Emmanuel Mouret


Emmanuel Mouret returns to Locarno where his last feature, ‘The Art of Love’, premiered two years ago.  Joey Starr, who received a César best supporting actor nomination for his performance in Maïwenn’s ‘Polisse’, plays an electrician who wants to start a new life with a famous pianist but has the complication of an existing marriage.


Expectation – the complex relationship set-up has a familiar ring to it in a French sort of way.



Când se lasă seara peste Bucureşti sau metabolism (When Evening Falls on Bucharest and Metabolism)
Corneliu Porumboiu


A key player in the Romanian new wave, Corneliu Porumboiu won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for his debut feature ’12:08 East of Bucharest’ and picked up a jury prize and the FIPRESCI award at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard’s sidebar for his follow up, ‘Police, Adjective’.  He now returns with the evocatively titled ‘When Evening Falls on Bucharest and Metabolism’, where a director’s affair with a supporting actress takes an unexpected turn.motilium cheapgeneric Motiliumpurchase motiliumBuy Motilium onlinemotilium buy ukBuy domperidonedomperidone for sale online


Expectation – arguably the most keenly anticipated film from this year’s competition selection.

The international jury led by Filipino filmmaker, Lav Dia (‘Norte, the End of History’, ‘Melancholia’), caused a surprise at this year’s Locarno Film Festival when it awarded the Golden Leopard to Albert Serra’s ‘Historia de la Meva Mort’ (‘Story of My Death’).    Serra’s imaginative seventh feature has Casanova meeting Count Dracula in a surreal take on the Romantic spirit emerging during the early 19th century.


There was wide recognition for Joaquim Pinto’s ‘E Agora? Lembra-me’ (‘What Now? Remind Me’), which received a Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI (international film critics) award.  Pinto’s first film for ten years is a personal portrayal of the filmmaker’s battle fighting HIV after being diagnosed with it over twenty years before.


The best director’s award went to one of the key figures in South Korea’s vibrant indie film sector, Sangsoo Hong, for his latest feature,  ‘U Ri Sunhi’ (‘Our Sunhi’).  Jeong Yu-mi reunited with Hong after they worked together on ‘In Another Country’ and plays a 30 year old woman, who has enigmatic encounters with three men from her past.


Claire Simon’s ‘Gare du Nord’ had emerged as the pre-ceremony favourite, but left empty handed.


International Competition winners:


Golden Leopard
Story of My Death by Albert Serra, Spain/France


Jury Special Prize
What Now? Remind Me by Joaquim Pinto, Portugal


Leopard for Best Director
Hong Sangsoo for Our Suhni, South Korea


Leopard for Best Actress
Brie Larson for Short Term 12 by Destin Cretton, United States


Leopard for Best Actor
Fernando Bacilio for The Mute by Daniel Vega and Diego Vega, Peru/France/Mexico


Special Mentions
Short Term 12 by Destin Cretton, United States
Tableau Noir by Yves Yersin, Switzerland


Ecumenical Jury Prize
Short Term 12 by Destin Cretton, United States


Ecumenical Jury Prize – Special Mention
Tableau Noir by Yves Yersin, Switzerland


FIPRESCI – International Film Critics’ Prize
What Now? Remind Me by Joaquim Pinto, Portugal




2 GUNS by Baltasar Kormákur – United States

VIJAY AND I by Sam Garbarski – Belgium/Luxembourg/Germany

LA VARIABILE UMANA by Bruno Oliviero – Italy

WRONG COPS by Quentin Dupieux – United States

WE’RE THE MILLERS by Rawson Marshall Thurber – United States

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES by Mikkel Nørgaard – Denmark/Germany/Sweden

LES GRANDES ONDES (À L’OUEST) by Lionel Baier – Switzerland/France/Portugal

RICH AND FAMOUS by George Cukor – United States

GABRIELLE by Louise Archambault – Canada

L’EXPÉRIENCE BLOCHER by Jean-Stéphane Bron – Switzerland/France

GLORIA by Sebastián Lelio – Chile

MR. MORGAN’S LAST LOVE by Sandra Nettelbeck – Germany/Belgium

BLUE RUIN by Jeremy Saulnier – United States

ABOUT TIME by Richard Curtis – United Kingdom

FITZCARRALDO by Werner Herzog – Germany/Peru

SUR LE CHEMIN DE L’ÉCOLE by Pascal Plisson – France





E AGORA? LEMBRA-ME by Joaquim Pinto – Portugal

EDUCAÇÃO SENTIMENTAL by Júlio Bressane – Brazil

EL MUDO by Daniel and Diego Vega – Peru/France/Mexico

EXHIBITION by Joanna Hogg – United Kingdom

FEUCHTGEBIETE by David Wnendt – Germany

GARE DU NORD by Claire Simon – France/Canada

HISTORIA DE LA MEVA MORT by Albert Serra – Spain/France

by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani – Belgium/France/Luxembourg

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS by Thomas Imbach – Switzerland/France

PAYS BARBARE by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi – France

REAL by Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Japan

SANGUE by Pippo Delbono – Italy/Switzerland

SHORT TERM 12 by Destin Cretton – United States

SHU JIA ZUO YE by Tso chi Chang – Taiwan

TABLEAU NOIR by Yves Yersin – Switzerland

TOMOGUI by Shinji Aoyama – Japan

TONNERRE by Guillaume Brac – France

U RI SUNHI by Sangsoo Hong – South Korea

UNE AUTRE VIE by Emmanuel Mouret – France




BUQƏLƏMUN by Elvin Adigozel and Ru Hasanov – Azerbaijan/France/Russia

COSTA DA MORTE by Lois Patiño – Spain

FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck – United States

L’HARMONIE by Blaise Harrison – France/Switzerland

LE SENS DE L’HUMOUR by Marilyne Canto – France

LOS INSÓLITOS PECES GATO by Claudia Sainte-Luce – Mexico MANAKAMANA by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez – Nepal

MOUTON by Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone – France

ROXANNE by Valentin Hotea – Romania/Hungary

SAI NAM TID SHOER by Nontawat Numbenchapol – Thailand

THE DIRTIES by Matt Johnson – Canada/United States

THE SPECIAL NEED by Carlo Zoratti – Germany/Italy

THE STONE by Se-rae CHO – South Korea

THE UGLY ONE by Eric Baudelaire – France/Lebanon/Japan

THE UNITY OF ALL THINGS 團結一切事物 by Alex Carver and Daniel Schmidt – United States

YUAN FAN by Zhengfan Yang – China


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