Locarno Film Festival Unveils Lineup
The 65-year-old Swiss festival will once again offer an eclectic mix of titles from veterans and newcomers.
ISCHIA, Italy – The Locarno Film Festival on Wednesday announced its full program, including a slate of 19 in-competition films made up entirely of world and international premieres and a lineup for the festival’s famous Piazza Grande, highlighted in part by the world premiere of Nick Love’s crime drama The Sweeney on opening night.
The Piazza Grande program also includes Ruby Sparks, a fantasy/romance from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
The in-competition lineup showed Locarno’s taste for the cosmopolitan, with 19 features at least co-produced in 21 different countries, including six produced or co-produced in the U.S. Among them: Starlet, a drama from Sean Baker starring Ernest Hemingway’s great granddaughter Dree Hamingway as a girl who strikes up a friendship with an elderly woman after buying an item at a yard sale that turns out to be filled with cash, and Craig Zobel’s thriller Compliance about an anonymous caller who convinces a fast-food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent employee. Both films are international premieres.
Other in-competition highlights include the world premiere of Playback, the first feature from Japanese director Sho Miyake; Wo Hai You Hua Yao Shuo (When Night Falls), a drama from South Korean actor-turned-director Ying Liang; the world premiere of Padroni di Casa (The Landlords) from Italy’s Edoardo Gabbriellini; and Bob Byington’s quirky comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me.
Among the selections for Locarno’s 8,800-seat outdoor Piazza Grande -- Europe’s largest film venue -- The Sweeney is based on a popular 1970s U.K. television series, while Ruby Sparks tells the story of a struggling novelist’s creation of a fictional female character he tries to will into existence.
Other Piazza Grande highlights include the European premiere of crime drama Che Sau (Motorway) from Soi Cheang, produced by Johnnie To and screened as part of the homage to To that is part of his Golden Leopard honor for lifetime achievement; Wrong, the latest comedy from France’s Quentin Dupieux, a Locarno regular; Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper comedy Magic Mike; 54-year-old classic Bonjour Tristesse, part of the festival’s retrospective of Otto Preminger films; and Swiss production More than Honey from Markus Imhoof, the festival’s closing film.
The festival this year will prove “it is the festival of film, all kinds of film and nothing but film, of the highlights of its history, its stars and artists to its most exciting future prospects with a constellation of new auteurs discovered every year in the various sections of the festival,” artistic director Olivier Pere said of the full lineup.
The festival, held now for 65 years in the picturesque lakeside Swiss city of Locarno, will take place Aug. 1-11. It is among the world's oldest film festivals.
In addition to the Piazza Grande screenings and those from the main-competition, the festival includes a special sidebar “Cineasti del Presente” (Cinema of the Present) competition made up of 15 first or second film from around the world, the “Pardi di Domani” (Leopards of Tomorrow) section for short films from up-and-coming filmmakers, and a new section called “Histoires du Cinema” (Cinema Stories), featuring documentaries about film.
As previously announced, the festival will present its Pardo d’Onore (Leopard of Honor) prize to iconoclastic French director Leos Carax, including a complete retrospective of his work and the Excellence Award will go to British actress Charlotte Rampling. To, the Hong Kong producer and director, will be honored with the festival’s lifetime achievement honor, while the iconic Preminger will be the focus of the festival’s main retrospective. Arnon Milchan will be honored with the festival's honor for film producers.
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul of Thailand will head the main competition jury, made up of U.S. producer and director Roger Avary, South Korean director Sang-soo Im, actress, director, and screenwriter Noemie Lvovsky of France, and Swiss writer Hans Ulrich Obrist.
The complete lineup follows.
Main competition selections:
A ÚLTIMA VEZ QUE VI MACAU by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO by Peter Strickland
COMPLIANCE by Craig Zobel
DER GLANZ DES TAGES by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
IMAGE PROBLEM by Simon Baumann and Andreas Pfiffner
JACK AND DIANE by Bradley Rust Gray
LA FILLE DE NULLE PART by Jean-Claude Brisseau
LEVIATHAN by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel
LOS MEJORES TEMAS by Nicolás Pereda
MOBILE HOME by François Pirot
MUSEUM HOURS by Jem Cohen
PADRONI DI CASA by Edoardo Gabbriellini
PLAYBACK by Sho Miyake
POLVO by Julio Hernández Cordón
SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME by Bob Byington
STARLET by Sean Baker
THE END OF TIME by Peter Mettler
UNE ESTONIENNE A PARIS by Ilmar Raag
WO HAI YOU HUA YAO SHUO by Ying Liang
Piazza Grande selections (including the date of the screenings):
August 1: THE SWEENEY by Nick Love
August 2: LORE by Cate Shortland
August 3: RUBY SPARKS by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
August 3: MAGIC MIKE by Steven Soderbergh
August 4: NACHTLÄRM by Christoph Schaub
August 4: WRONG by Quentin Dupieux
August 5: QUELQUES HEURES DE PRINTEMPS by Stéphane Brizé
August 6: SIGHTSEERS by Ben Wheatley
August 6: BACHELORETTE by Leslye Headland
August 7: CAMILLE REDOUBLE by Noémie Lvovsky
August 8: NO by Pablo Larraín
August 9: THE BLACK BALLOON by Josh and Benny Safdie (a short film)
August 9: WHILE WE WERE HERE by Kat Coiro
August 9: MOTORWAY by Soi Cheang
August 10: DAS MISSEN MASSAKER by Michael Steiner
August 10: BONJOUR TRISTESSE by Otto Preminger
August 11: MORE THAN HONEY by Markus Imhoof