Ultimate cinema and niche fantasy – Locarno Film Festival 2

Nice early wake up in the cloudy and humid Locarno was the promise of a good day, and the 7 movies on my schedule the magic ticket to a day full of travels. Not really on the screening location – all of them being around the FEVI – but rather on the destinations : Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden,  New Zealand, Brasil, Spain and Argentina.

Switzerland

I remember 2 years ago and his previous movie. I remember leaving the room with the feeling of being tricked as a foreigner. Probably was I to sensitive and lacking forgiveness. Maybe too demanding or ashamed I could be assimilated to people on the vicinity of a forced departure. Maybe was I ashamed of any type of failure.
Therefore was I even more impatient and excited to the idea of watching his new movie today. The movie being THE SHELTER, the director Fernand Melgar and the plot winter in a  nuclear hazard shelter turned into a 5chf/night hotel for homeless people. Of course too much people vs the empty beds.
This time Fernand Melgar is behind the camera and has only one sound engineer. Small team for a sensitive topic. And if a certain intimacy is preserved, some other choices could be discussed. For instance the treatment of the sound : every metallic sound is overboosted transforming any official building into machines unable of any compassion. On the other side the extreme care on the voices of the homeless people is so much coming from their chest that they loose the ability of being thoughtful human beings. Other choices of characters are closely led by the same need of extreme. And I understood the strength and weakness of his cinema : Fernand Melgar isn’t a rebel. No he s someone deeply human and fragile that doesn’t accept injustice. He sees every human being the same way. A strong  equality amongst all of them, equality in their entities. And if a victim isn’t acceptable, so is it with the torturer. And if he shouts how much victims are powerless victims, he points out how much the bad guys are powerful. In this logic no need to enter the subtility of the situations ; here only matters the power shifts of the relationships. It seems admirable but dangerous too. The thin line between magnifying heros and creating stereotypes could be too easily crossed.
Unfortunately to me this is what happened in his previous movie and here too. And if last time it created a fruitful debate, this time I believe he might unwillingly give some material for right wing political parti and their stinky theories. By too often reducing the life of the sufferers to the expression of their pain, he looses track of their humanity. One magic sequence could bring  some balance back but feels like anecdotal : a full day into the life of a Romanian family and the desperate seek for money in a cold winter.

Nevertheless a movie definitely worth to be watched, shared and discussed ! And protected from getting absorbed by a political system.

Sweden

First of the 4 short movies program, ALL WE SHARE is the typical movie school project where you find steadicam shots, LGBT topic, suicide fascination and nature slow motion shots. A family, whose kid hung himself to a garden tree asks for the tree to be taken down. Nice images that maintain  us in the awaiting for something to happen. We still wait.

New Zealand

UNNATURAL HISTORY is the movie on conspiracy theories and we love that , don’t we ? Just like fortune telling. It gives a little thrill we don’t have anymore. So where is the truth in this story of physics ans sounds and New Age secrets ?

Brasil

O BON COMPORTAMENTO , or teenagers in a summer camp in the brasilian rain forest and teens early feelings or cruelty exposed. So are naked bodies, which wasn’t long to happen. Third movie and boobies. Quite within the average I think. Got to check the former years.

Spain

There’s one type of movies I have problem to grasp their purpose,  and SERTRES is a gold member of the team. Basically it asks the question of how much can we love someone, and it actually goes onto the complicated love life of an artist….well the director. Naked bits must have helped the selection.
SERTRES means to be three…so guess what is the love issue there….

Croatia

CURE , or the hard choice between two nations is the story of a young girl going back to Croatia with her dad one year after the end of the siege of Dubrovnik. Where were they before ? In Zurich,  where the girl grew up and the mother still lives. This movie shows the internal tension between two universes and cultures for the young girl. Where is she truly from and where does she want to belong to : not from here and not from there is the answer, despite all her efforts. Nevertheless the movie shows that only action defines who you are. Now if next step in this theory is that every culture can be defined by its type of acts, I hope the movie director didn’t think about it.
Another last question is …why the electric guitar riffs as the main music ? Yes my god….why ?

Argentina

I will find a gun, shoot a bullet in my head and one in my belly. I will miss my head but keep the one in the belly. Will this give more meaning to my life and my family’s destiny ?
Absurdity is the key driver of this movie’s plot. Characters , situations and motivations are lead by a passive attitude in absurde everydays. I still wonder if seeing them eating alfajores (South American pastries ) compensates the very European style of the movie. My Latino side is afraid of becoming diabetic to cope with this…
The movie title ? DOS DISPAROS

Overall great time in the theaters but a strange feeling that most of those movies focus on marginal moments of life or marginal existences. Is it good or bad, I even don’t know if applying a moral judgment makes sense. But for sure it might get disturbing as normality is far more interesting but harder to capture and to make a movie out of it. Is it because our western way of living can’t get interested in anything but the extremes ? We don’t need to achieve anything truly vital every day so movies have to be exceptional in every meaning ? Or does the artistic approach only matters on striking matters to bring the unknown to a larger audience ? I would hope so but audiences in festivals ,where 60% of the movies will never go through main stream theaters, is made out of professionals or specific audience…
As well am I afraid the hardest challenge as directors is to escape from the initial fascination for an exotic subject otherwise the end result,  the movie, will carry the feeling of the fantasy of the situations : how the higher educated sees the world through his monocultural lens. And nowadays it is pretty poor and still with a certain  superiority. ..
A major trap, a dangerous path to avoid .

Tomorrow some other 7 movies I guess. Another world tour ?

Today’s movies :

L abri / the shelter , Fernand Melgar,  Switzerland, 101 min
Allt Vi Delar / all we share, Jerry Carlsson, Sweden,  25 min
Unnatural history , Alex Blackhouse,  New Zealand, 16 min
O Bom Comportamento,  Eva Randolph, Brazil, 19 min
Sertres,  Ainara Vera, Spain, 30 min
Cure – The life of Another, Andrea Staka,  CH/HR/Bosnia Herzegovina,  83 min
Dos Disparos, Martin Rejtman,  Arg/Chile/NL/DE, 104 min

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