Locarno Festival to Be Dedicated to Director Jacques Tourneur

Courtesy of Venice Film Festival
Still from 'Jacques Tourneur, Le Medium'

The French filmmaker is considered the master of fantastic cinema.

This years Locarno Film Festival will be dedicated to French filmmaker Jacques Tourneur (1904-1977), featuring a complete retrospective of this work.

Tourneur was the son of director Maurice Tourneur, a pioneer of French cinema. The family moved to the U.S. before the outbreak of World War I.

After the war, the younger Tourneur returned to France to launch his film career, but after four films went back to the States. After working on the second unit of David O. Selznick’s A Tale of Two Cities, he partnered with producer Val Lewton at RKO, collaborating on milestone films including Cat People (1942), The Leopard Man (1943) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943).

Tourneur's career continued with masterpieces across genres, from Westerns (Canyon Passage), war and spy films (Berlin Express, Days of Glory), noir (Nightfall, Out of the Past) and melodrama (Experiment Perilous, Easy Living) to adventure films (Appointment in Honduras, The City Under the Sea). The filmmaker was rediscovered during the 1970s and his fame reached new heights.

“Considered to be the master of fantastic cinema, Tourneur always tried to go beyond what is visible, depicting those deep feelings that flutter under our skin and behind the surface of things,” Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian said Thursday in a statement. “This is why his films stand up to the passing of time and are a source of inspiration for so many filmmakers.”

The 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival is set to run Aug. 2-12.