27th Torino Film Festival
Italy, November 13 - November 21 2009
This year Torino International Film Festival celebrated its 27th edition with a new festival director Gianni Amelio who succeeded NanniMoretti in the director’s chair. The festival in Torino has a great past and many traditions dating back to 1982. There’s great competition in Italy among film festivals with the Mostra in Venice and Torino and now Rome, all taking a bigger part in the international festival circle. During the Festival exciting retrospectives were organized including Nicholas Ray and Nagisa Oshima. Emir Kusturica and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope were awarded with the newly established Torino Grand Prix. Coppola personally presented Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes to the audience and Kusturica also did this with his Underground’s six hour long TV version. Talking about the audience it’s really great to see that the local audience loves cinema and needs the festival. The cinemas are crowded and almost all the screenings are full.It’s not just university students who are interested in the films.
The Torino International Film Festival’s competition section focuses on young cinema,which is why in the competition section (Torino 27) there were sixteen first, second or third feature films from young and ambitious filmmakers from around the world. Our FIPRESCI jury had busy days in Torino watching all the competition films in just six days. The selection was very mixed including semi-documentaries and feature films from the Philippines through to Italy and the USA. Some of the movies were spectacular big budget productions comparative to others – like Get Low from the USA or Van Diemen’s Land from Australia – and we could see that the Romanian new wave still has films in store. After John Hillcoat’s huge hit The Proposition in 2005 the Australian cinema proved again that has a keen sense of mixing philosophical issues with brutality and violence. The poetic is based on a true story;Van Diemen’s Land adds morality to its cannibalistic fugitive story and, along with astonishing cinematography, has become a remarkable piece of art. Get Lowalso tried to insertmorality into its story,withleading star Robert Duvall’s performance more significantthan the predictable narrative of standardAmerican independent dramas. The Romanian Medal of Honor by Peter CalinNetzer showed great potential and made a strong effort to continue the traditions of the Romanian new wave following 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days(Cristian Mungiu, 2007) and Police, Adjective(CorneliuPorumboiu, 2009) and the other Romanian festival favorites. The strong acting, the dramaturgy and the catharsis in a long shot at the end made Medal of Honor one of the best pictures in the competition section. (Gyorgy Karpati, edited by Tara Judah)
Torino International Film Festival: www.torinofilmfest.org