Notes on the Locarno 2016 Lineup July 13, 2016

The Locarno Competition sounds very promising this year, but it occurred to me that there are many cinephiles who might only know a few of the directors’ names. The work I’ve done on this site has required me to read a ton of film criticism and because of that, I can tell fill you in on several of the directors competing for this year’s Golden Leopard.

Matías Piñeiro, as I hope you already know, is the Argentine director who makes Shakespeare-inspired films that usually run far less than 90 minutes.

Angela Schanelec is from the Berlin School, a filmmaking movement that includes Christian Petzold and Maren Ade.

Portugual’s João Pedro Rodrigues isn’t quite a big name, but he’s well-established and, along with Piñeiro, is one of the most prominent names in the Competition.

The Bulgarian directing duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov‘s last film, The Lesson, opened in the U.S. last year to a warm reception. That film received many comparisons to the Dardenne brothers.

Yousry Nasrallah‘s last film, After the Battle, competed at Cannes in 2012. If memory serves, the movie was poorly received at the time, but it did find defenders in Boris Nelepo, Ben Sachs, Manohla Dargis and Daniel Kasman.

Japanese director Katsuya Tomita‘s first film, Saudade, screened last year at the Harvard at the Gulbenkian series, a not-insignificant honor.

Axelle Ropert is a fairly new French female director (one of a whopping eight women in the Competition this year) whose most vocal American champion is Melissa Anderson.

Radu Jude‘s Aferim! made a big splash in 2015 and won the Berlin Film Festival’s Best Director prize that year.

Lastly, take note of this Dan Sallitt comment.


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