Locarno Festival Sets Blake Edwards Retrospective

Courtesy of Everett Collection
Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' (1961)

The Swiss fest will showcase 37 films from the director of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and the 'Pink Panther' franchise.

Switzerland's Locarno Film Festival will pay homage to U.S. director Blake Edwards with a career retrospective at its 72nd edition this summer.

The retrospective is the first announcement from new Locarno artistic director Lili Hinstin, who has taken over from outgoing director Carlo Chatrian this year.

Edwards, winner of a career Academy Award, is best known for directing Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Party, the Pink Panther franchise, Days of Wine and Roses, The Tamarind Seed, 10 and Victor Victoria, among numerous other critical and box office hits. His 37 films, over a career running from 1955 to 1993, will be screened at the GranRex theater along with other screenings, including his written works and TV films.

Over his career, Edwards worked with some of Hollywood’s top stars, including Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Lee Remick and, of course, Peter Sellers. From 1969 on, he collaborated on seven pictures with his wife Julie Andrews, including Darling Lili. Composer Henry Mancini wrote the scores for the majority of his films.

“A paradoxical auteur, Edwards could put his hand to anything from rom-com (Bring Your Smile Along, Mister Cory) to thriller (Experiment in Terror) to Western (Wild Rovers), creatively rethinking and subverting each genre in just the way that caused his violent break with the studios and their final-cut privilege," said Hinstin. "He left Hollywood for exile in Europe, in Switzerland to be precise, where he spent eight years and wrote some of his greatest screenplays before returning to direct one of his finest films, also the box-office hit of its time: 10."

After Locarno, the retrospective will travel internationally until 2020, with stops including the Filmpodium in Zurich, the REX theater in Bern, Geneva’s Les Cinemas du Gretli and the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna.

The 72nd Locarno Film Festival is set to run Aug. 7-17.