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Author: Andreea Patru

Growing Pains: Two Teen Films at the 71st Locarno Film Festival

Several directors competing for the Golden Leopard at this year’s Locarno Film Festival made films about the loss of innocence and teen angst. These works capture the moment in time when childhood’s idealism becomes adulthood’s adversity as a defining event for shaping characters. Dominga Sotomayor’s Best Director-winning Too Late to Die Young (2018) and Philippe Lesage’s Genesis (2018) excel at depicting the vulnerability and tumultuous feelings of young hearts in unique ways. If Sotomayor employs the isolated environment of a communal settlement to shape the protagonist and her experiences with first love, Lesage conveys these feelings through multiple, fragmented...

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The Kids Will Be Alright: The 26th Curtas Vila do Conde

Curtas Vila do Conde is an example of a festival dedicated to short film that refuses to be restricted to a framework, giving freedom to its shape and content. Its selection celebrates some of the best work from the previous year without neglecting returning artists or the latest crop of talent. A festival advocating risk and discovery, the films in its latest international competition were preoccupied with youth. While some of the shorts glimpsed into the world of adolescence, focusing on heartfelt acts, others addressed issues such as bullying and feeling out of place with inventive storytelling and cinematography....

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Out of This World: Surrealist Films at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018

Innovation often derives from a deep knowledge of the past, be it a reinterpretation of the classics or loosely based representations of them. Postmodern art seems redundant and worn out. So it’s no surprise then that new cinematic expressions arrive in the shape of allegory and neo-baroque aesthetics. Two films from the 47th edition fit the description and fulfill IFFR’s promise of showcasing challenging, stylistically revitalizing avant-garde cinema. Bertrand Mandico’s debut feature, The Wild Boys, and Rustam Khamdamov’s return, The Bottomless Bag, combine surrealistic images with references from the classics in literature and painting to create the kind of...

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Highlight on Shorts: Pardi di Domani, Locarno

Since my last visit to Locarno I have learned not to overlook the short film selection. Called Pardi di domani (Leopards of Tomorrow) it is the festival’s most forward-looking, as it focuses on future talents. This year, it consisted of 27 short films showing a wide geographic spread, yet a common preoccupation: a critique of present-day capitalism and a dissatisfaction with social conditions, be it of immigrants or citizens. In Kapitalistis, Belgian filmmaker Pablo Muñoz Gomez, sets his critique in the context of a popular consumer holiday, Christmas. Niko, the 5-year-old son of a pizza delivery guy, Gyorgis, has...

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