Locarno Film Festival, one of the oldest in Europe, is now emerging as one of the most edgy and esoteric as Olivier Pere, former artistic director of the Quinzaine in Cannes, grows ever more eclectic in his choice of programming. He has masterminded a line-up that manages to combine innovative features from upcoming American directors with European and Far Eastern fare promising to up the avantgarde ante and placing Locarno firmly in the global arthouse arena.
Over 300 films will be shown this year, 19 vying in international competition for the Golden Leopard of which 13 are world premieres. Highlights include: Leslye Headland’s “Bachelorette” starring Kirsten Dunst, “Ruby Sparks” by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris with Annette Bening and “No” with Gael Garcia Bernal.
Tributes will be paid to Charlotte Rampling for her lifelong contribution to the film world and French director Leos Carax will receive the Leopard of Honour. Otto Preminger will also be attending this year to take part in a retrospective showcasing his massive film archive.
This year’s jury is headed by Thai director Apichatpong Weeresethakul who came to international fame when he won the Palme at Cannes in 2012 for his film “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives”
Here is a selection of this year’s offerings:
A Portuguese writer discovers that the past is a very different country when returns to his childhood home to help a friend in need.
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO (Peter Strickland)
Toby Jones plays an sound engineer in whose reality spins out of control when he starts work for an Italian horror studio.
A magical portrait of the sea and its inhabitants seen through the eyes of fisherman and filmmaker
UNE ESTONIENNE A PARIS
Jeanne Moreau stars in this cross generational tale of love and familial ties from the director of The Class.
Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a advertising guru who comes up with a campaign to bring down Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 Referendum.
BACHELORETTE Leslye Headland
High school rivals compete to the bitter end at the wedding of a woman they used to ridicule.
WRONG (Quentin Dupieux)
Dolph Springer sets off to look for his lost dog and almost loses his sanity along the way
RUBY SPARKS Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
A struggling writer comes face to face with the character he created in this surprising romantic drama from the director of Little Miss Sunshine.
OUT OF COMPETITION
I, Anna (Barnaby Southcombe) see Cannes Round-up – Charlotte Rampling Award.
Excellence Award Moët & Chandon for Charlotte Rampling
English actress Charlotte Rampling received an award for Excellence at the 65th Locarno Festival’s opening night on 1 August 2012 and to mark the occasion the Festival del film Locarno screened out of competition her latest film: I, Anna (2012), directed by Barnaby Southcombe (Embargo Films). Other films screened in her honour were The Night Porter (Il portiere di notte, 1974) by Liliana Cavani and Under the Sand (Sous le sable, 2000) by François Ozon.
Olivier Père, the Festival’s Artistic director, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome to Locarno Charlotte Rampling, an enigmatic and fascinating actress whose unique magnetism and beauty have graced several landmarks in contemporary cinema. From Visconti to Lars von Trier, from Woody Allen to François Ozon, from Liliana Cavani to Nagisa Oshima, Charlotte Rampling, by turns deadly or vulnerable, has fascinated several major filmmakers, and millions of viewers besides”.
Every year the Festival del film Locarno’s Excellence Award goes to one or more actors of international stature. Previous recipients have been Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Michel Piccoli, Carmen Maura, Toni Servillo, Chiara Mastroianni and, in 2011, Isabelle Huppert.
Charlotte Rampling biography
The daughter of a British colonel, Charlotte Rampling spent her childhood in France and her adolescence in England where she attended the prestigious St Hilda’s College in Bushey. She made her screen debut in Richard Lester’s The Knack…and How to Get It (1965) a film manifesto for Swinging London that won the Palme d’or at Cannes and did well at the big box-office. Determined to pursue an acting career, she joined London’s Royal Court Theatre, but her sister’s premature death lead her to leave England and move to Italy.
A meeting with Luchino Visconti was to change the course of her life when he hired her to star in The Damned (La caduta degli dei, 1969). Surrounded by a prestigious cast she made a success of her role and went on to secure the lead in The Night Porter (Il portiere di notte,1974) which centred on a sadomasochistic relationship between a survivor of concentration camps and her former tormentor (played by Dirk Bogarde). Her edgy and seductive performance offered her international fame.
From the mid seventies she starred in Farewell, My Lovely (1975) by Dick Richards with Robert Mitchum, Patrice Chéreau’s The Flesh of the Orchid (La Chair de l’orchidée, 1975), Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980), Sidney Lumet‘s The Verdict (1982) alongside Paul Newman, Jacques Deray’s He Died with His Eyes Open (On ne meurt que deux fois, 1985), Nagisa Oshima‘s Max My Love (Max mon amour ,1986). She returned to film in 2000 in François Ozon’s Under the Sand (Sous le sable), which offered her one of her best roles. Becoming his muse, she worked with Ozon again in The Swimming Pool (2003) – for which she won the European Film Award in 2004 – and Angel (2007). In 2004 she returned to Italy for The Keys to the House (Le Chiavi di casa) by Gianni Amelio. After Never Let Me Go (2010) by Mark Romanek, she was seen alongside Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Melancholia (2011), by Lars von Trier.