Article by Enrico Nicolosi
Translation by Francesca Borgheresi
The “minestrone” (“melting pot”), which Steve Della Casa has mentioned many times on his last year in office before passing over the direction to Giulio Base, doesn’t refer to one of the titles of the retrospective section dedicated to Sergio Citti, rather to the result of the selection made by the manager and his staff. It’s not a miscellany that risks displeasing anyone, but a compact and consistent organism, composed of films and different activities – masterclasses, unscheduled events, talk shows and conferences – which dialogues with each other because of both affinity and opposition, always having filmmaking as their only essential reference.
Apparently that’s an easy job, given the nature of the festival, but not to be taken for granted, if we consider the drifts of the most recent kermises regarding guests who have been too often devoted to red carpets rather than a dialogue with the audience. Being aware of this, at the 41st edition of Torino Film Festival guests will be encouraged to share memories, experiences and film tastes, even if they belong to the television or theatre world. Pupi Avati, Christian Petzold, Caterina Caselli, Drusilla Foer, Fabrizio Gifuni, Kyle Eastwood and Oliver Stone – all protagonists of a masterclass – are just some of the guests that will enrich our festival. The only exceptions to the absolute centrality of filmmaking coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th of November) and the World AIDS Day (1st of December). In these days, Torino Film Festival will dedicate two events focused on the speeches by Monica Guerritore, protagonist of I girasoli (“The sunflowers”, Catrinel Marlon’s first film, sponsor of this edition) and by Laura Morante, actress in Folle d’amore – Alda Merini (“Crazy in love – Alda Merini”) by Roberto Faenza.
Beside all these activities, you will obviously find the 181 films presented at the official selection, divided in different sections: some are oriented towards the future, such as Concorso Lungometraggi (“Feature films Contest”) – consisting on young authors’ works, this year, too – and Cortometraggi Italiani (“Italian Short films”); others are dedicated to the past instead, like Back To Life, the aforementioned retrospective on Sergio Citti, and Mezzogiorno di fuoco (High Noon), a tribute to John Wayne, who dominates our poster designed by Ugo Nespolo. Let’s not forget about Crazies, a section about fantasy and horror films, or Nuovimondi (“New Worlds”), which is composed of works on the perspectives of contemporary filmmaking between observation and imagination, or all of the Fuori Concorso (“Out of Competition”) films, which are in turn divided in specific topics, e.g. Il gioco della finzione. Nuovi sguardi argentini (“The game of fiction. New Argentinian perspectives”) and La prima volta (“The first time”), about the first works of not so young authors, or Ritratti e paesaggi (“Portraits and landscapes”), biographic documentaries and fiction films, and the Torino Film Lab. These sections include some of the most awaited works among the enthusiast citizens of Turin, mostly taken from the festival year: from Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World by Radu Jude to Cerrar los ojos (“Closing the eyes”) by Victor Erice, to Essential Truths of the Lake by Lav Diaz to L’Île (“The Island”) by Damien Manivel, from Kubi by Takeshi Kitano to Il cielo brucia (Roter Himmel, “Red sky”), the new film by Christian Petzold which will be released in Italian cinemas alongside the festival, after taking part in the Berlin International Film Festival last February.
There are even sections dedicated to international and national documentaries, both in competition. Therefore, we can conclude that our festival presents itself as an extremely rich and articulated selection which reflects on the state of contemporary film production without any dogmatic hierarchy, moving from research filmmaking to genre fiction, from international experts to promising youths. In conclusion, there is no doubt about the full involvement of Turin and its inhabitants, starting from the speech about filmmaking by Pupi Avati – live at Reggia di Venaria and on Rai Radio3 during Hollywood Party – and finishing with Christine – La macchina infernale (Christine) by John Carpenter, the film that will end both this edition and, cyclically, Steve Della Casa’s experience with this festival.