29th Torino Film Festival
Italy, November 25 - December 3 2011
Emanuel Levy (US), Jean-Marie Mollo Olinga (Cameroon), Piero Spila (Italy)
The Salesman by
(Canada, 2011, 107 mins)
With attention given to ‘young’ cinema culture, traditional cinéphilia (a retrospective dedicated to Robert Altman, following those previously dedicated to Nicholas Ray, Nagisa Oshima and John Huston), and curiosity for new forms of expression, the 29th Torino Film Festival, in its third year under the direction of Gianni Amelio, has consolidated its identity within the appropriate expectations of the event. In achieving this, it has taken an important standpoint on what’s new and good in cinema.
The competition section comprised 16 films of a high quality (debuts, second and third works), with representations from every continent and, despite varied means of expression, many addressed common themes like violence in contemporary society, the crisis of the family and, interestingly, the disease, seen as a symptom of a deep and widespread social vulnerability: 50/50 by Jonathan Levine, Way Home by Andreas Kannengiesser, Heart’s Boomerang by Nikolay Khomeriki, as well as Ulidi piccola mia by Matteo Zoni.
During the opening night gala the Gran Premio Torino special achievement award was given to Aki Kaurismaki, for the rigor of his expressive language, his gaze turned to a humanity confused and unhappy. Traditional to this festival, the retrospective justifiably concerned a highly respected filmmaker and this this year it was dedicated to Robert Altman, with 40 of his films being screened (including both his fiction films and documentaries). Keith Carradine (who Altman directed in McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) and Nashville (1975) was also present at the festival.
The full program this year (217 titles in total) was completed by the sections A Moveable Feast (styles, genres, inventions of contemporary cinema) and Waves (sizes, durations, technologies, languages). There was an interesting insight into an eccentric author, the Japanese director Sion Sono (a cinematic visionary caught somewhere between psychoanalysis and Grand Guignol, mélo and pop, nouvelle vague and Tarantino), who was also present in Turin, as was the French filmmaker Eugène Green. Festival director Gianni Amelio gave a personal and touching tribute to the cult Italian actress Dorian Gray (real name Maria Luisa Mangini) who committed suicide earlier this year. Amelio referred to her as a “meteor” who, in her short career, had starred in popular films with the multi-talented Totò and worked with great directors such as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. (Emanuel Levy)
Torino Film Festival: www.torinofilmfest.org