By Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz July 21, 2013 at 3:30PM
I have been invited to Locarno this year and am looking forward to going once more.
It is an amazing locale at the Swiss tip of Italy's Lago Maggiore. While the town sure looks old Italian to me people there tend to speak German.
Very charming. Their grand outdoor theater in a big piazza is rare in our film world and quite magnificent. I look forward to the films and seeing old friends.
Just announced the 20-film competition lineup features 18 world premieres and represents 16 countries, while the Piazza Grande selections run from big budget to art house films.
The Locarno Film Festival, in its first edition under the new artistic director Carlo Chatrian, on Wednesday revealed an eclectic and international lineup.
The 8,000-seat Piazza Grande, the largest silver screen in Europe and Locarno’s signature venue, this year illustrates the mixed genres Locarno traditionally features, with a lineup that includes Quentin Dupieux’s crime comedy Wrong Cops, with a cast that includes celebrity goth Marilyn Manson.
“I want the Piazza Grande selection to feature a
sampling of what the festival has to offer in its various sections and
tributes, and I think we made a big step in this direction,” said
Chatrian, a veteran festival programmer and author who took over
direction of the lakeside festival after the unexpected departure of
Olivier Pere last year.
Mr. Morgan’s Last Love, a drama from Sandra Nettelbeck that stars Michael Cain as a retired professor who finds a connection with a young Parisian woman.
We’re the Millers, a comedy from Rawson Marshall Thurber with a cast that includes Jennifer Aniston and Ed Helms.
Also scheduled to screen in the picturesque Piazza Grande: 1981 classic Rich and Famous, part of the festival’s retrospective dedicated to director George Cukor (the film's star, Jacqueline Bisset, will be in Locarno to introduce the film)
Werner Herzog’s great Fitzcarraldo, the director’s 1982 biopic about Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald that will screen as part of the festival’s homage to Herzog, who will be honored with a lifetime achievement prize.
The Piazza Grande will also feature an Italian film -- La Variabile Umana (The Human Factor), the feature film debut from acclaimed documentary maker Bruno Oliviero -- for the first time in six years.
The festival previously announced that much-heralded blockbuster 2 Guns, from Baltasar Kormákur -- which stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg -- would open the festival August 7.
The competition lineup, which includes 18 world premieres and two international premieres, is nearly as varied as the selection showing in the Piazza Grande.
Among the highlights: E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me) from Portugal’s Joaquim Pinto, the director’s touching and vibrant telling of his battle with HIV.
Albert Serra's Historia de la Meva Mort (Story of My Death), which had been tabbed by the European press as a likely Cannes selection.
Real, the first film from Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa in five years.
U Ri Sunhi (Our Sunhi) by South Kore's acclaimed Sangsoo Hong.
Sangue (Blood) from Italy’s Pippo Delbono, which explores Italy’s Red Brigade insurgency.
Short Term 12, a remake of a 2008 short (both directed by Destin Cretton), is the only U.S. film screening in competition.
“There’s an intriguing mix of young director and first time works with more experienced talent in the competition lineup,” Chatrian said. “I’m eager to see how the public will react to these films we’ve chosen.”