Criticwire

Sex, Disability and Videotapes: 'Gabrielle' and 'The Special Need'

  • By James Berclaz-Lewis
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  • August 20, 2013 5:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Two new movies explore the intersection of disability and sexual desire.

Locarno Fetes '2001' and 'Silent Running's Douglas Trumbull

  • By Tara Karajica
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  • August 20, 2013 1:19 PM
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A report from the Locarno Film Festival's tribute to and masterclass with Douglas Trumbull, the effects guru behind '2001' and the director of 'Silent Running.'

Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinji Aoyama on Japanese Film and Why 'Oblivion' Should Be in the Art House

  • By Laya Maheshwari
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  • August 16, 2013 12:00 PM
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When I was on my way to attend a round table conversation at the 66th Locarno Film Festival between two Japanese directors, Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Real) and Shinji Aoyama (Tomogui/The Backwater), my intention was to hear the makers talk about their creations. I saw Aoyama's The Backwater on the 14th and was a huge fan. It's a twisted drama that reveals itself to be a revenge thriller at just the right moment, and is extremely entertaining.

Not Only the Young: 'Gloria' and 'Mr. Morgan's Last Love' Offer Different Takes on Late-Life Love Stories

  • August 16, 2013 9:30 AM
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In recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of films that focus on romance for the middle age. Films such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Something's Gotta Give, and It's Complicated serve as comedic offerings on the subject, often poking fun at elements concerning old age. As dramatic fare goes, it is rare to see a love story between two elderly people that does not concern elements of sickness or loss. One of the most successful recent love stories, Michael Haneke's Amour, painted a beautiful portrait of an elderly couple's relationship, as have films such as The Notebook and Away From Her. These films however are all highly depressing, hopeless films about the inevitability of getting older. Although there are a handful of films that share love stories for those of an older age, it is still a rarity to see a film treat the relationship with as much honesty and rawness as younger romances are portrayed. Two films at the Locarno Film Festival this year tell stories of old romance, Gloria and Mr. Morgan's Last Love. However, these films could not be more different in their approach.

Locarno Pays Tribute to George Cukor With a Retrospective

  • By Tara Karajica
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  • August 15, 2013 4:28 PM
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The Cukor clock is ticking in Switzerland as the 66th Festival del Film Locarno presents -- in collaboration with the Cinematheque Suisse, Turin's National Cinema Museum, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York -- a retrospective on George Cukor.

Blurred Lines: Claire Simon's 'Gare du Nord' and 'Human Geography' Challenge the Boundaries Between Fiction and Doc

  • By Ronan Doyle
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  • August 14, 2013 4:36 PM
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How appropriate it is that Claire Simon's complementary pair of pictures, the narrative Gare du Nord and the documentary Human Geography, should take place at the train station that lends the former its name. Railways have occupied a pride of place in cinema since its birth: We all know, of course, the famous (if apocryphal) tale of the brothers Lumiere causing audiences to leap from their seats when The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat was screened. Ever since those days, the distinction between the Lumieres' "actualities" and the trick films of their contemporary Georges Melies has remained engrained in audiences' view of cinema. Documentary and narrative, many would seem to believe, are mutually exclusive modes.

More Than 'Honey': Has the Swiss Documentary Renaissance Peaked?

  • By James Berclaz-Lewis
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  • August 14, 2013 4:14 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Imagine not only trying to do a documentary on beekeeping around the world, but also trying to fascinate audiences with that most uninviting of subject matters. The more cautious among us would surely walk away from such a daunting project. Yet in 2012, swiss director Marcus Imhoof bravely accepted the challenge and ultimately ended up mesmerizing audiences the world across with his sublimely shot More Than Honey. Little did he know that his film would prove the beating heart of a nation's bright revival in documentary filmmaking. That most vintage of years would also see the release of Manuel Von Sturler's Hiver Nomade, the poetic journey of two shepherds as they journey through the changing mountainous landscapes for which he took home the Best Documentary Award at the European Film Awards. Both examples set themselves apart from the mass with their ability to weave the most unlikely, and decidedly anti-hype, subjects with truly astounding imagery. Imhoof and Von Sturler were confirming, if you will, A Certain Tendency of Swiss Documentary Cinema.

Short Term, Longwave: Coming of Age in Locarno

  • By Laya Maheshwari
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  • August 13, 2013 4:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Destin Cretton's Short Term 12 and Lionel Baier's Les Grandes Ondes (a L'ouest) (English title: Longwave), screened on the same day at the 66th Locarno Film Festival, underway right now. First glances may imply that the two share little in common, with the former an unflinching American indie drama about a foster care facility and the latter a light and frothy European period piece about a work assignment for two radio journalists.

Corneliu's Comic Catharsis: 'When Evening Falls on Bucharest' Looks Back With Laughter

  • By Ronan Doyle
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  • August 13, 2013 3:53 PM
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"I've been formed by this limit." These words, spoken by the film director protagonist of Corneliu Porumboiu's When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism about his fondness for the time restrictions imposed by shooting on celluloid, could just as well describe the emergence in the last decade of the particular breed of Romanian cinema which this new effort exemplifies. Limitation, in the form of censorship, is pivotal to the origin story of this distinctive strand of national cinema: Nicolae Ceausescu, the communist dictator whose rule was overthrown in 1989, withheld from filmmakers the freedom to explore socio-political issues. His fall, and the eventual arrival of digital technology's democratization of media, allowed the country's collective concerns to spill forth into its cinema, where latent traumas could be addressed.

Meet the Locarno Critics Academy Class of 2013

  • By Sam Adams
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  • August 6, 2013 1:28 PM
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For the second year running, Indiewire, in conjunction with the Swiss Association of Film Journalists and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as well as new partner FRED Radio, is holding a Critics Academy at the Locarno Film Festival, giving nine young film writers a chance to cover one of the world's great festivals. They hail from locales as varied as Galway and Mumbai and bring with them a host of new and interesting perspectives. Next week, you'll be able to read the fruits of their labor right here on Criticwire, including a report from a master class with 2001: A Space Odyssey effects guru (and Silent Running director) Douglas Trumbull.

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