3 items from 2014
A toast to all that those who didn’t endure the Holocaust take for granted, French director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s “To Life” finds the silver lining in the 20th century’s darkest cloud, but feels a thousand miles removed from the events it describes. Inspired by the true story of Zilbermann’s mother and the two lifelong friends she met at Auschwitz, this unremarkably tasteful empowerment meller focuses on the seaside outing where these three Jewish women first reunited 15 years after the war, failing to capture either the post-traumatic heft of what they dealt with or the amazing chemistry between them.
To understand all that is lacking from Zilbermann’s stuffy re-creation, we need look no further than the final shot of the film, which reveals candid footage of the three women, well into their 80s, overflowing with the irrepressible (and almost uniquely Jewish) joie de vivre that their fictionalized counterparts seem to lack. »
- Peter Debruge
With special career achievement awards for stellar actresses Mia Farrow and Juliette Binoche and the veteran Armin Mueller-Stahl, as well as a line-up of such diverse talents as Dario Argento, Agnès Varda, Aleksandr Sokurov and Olivier Assayas, the Locarno Film Festival’s director Carlo Chatrian today (16 July) unveiled the cornucopia of delights in store for next month’s bumper 67th edition.
Other names figuring in the cast list include Luc Besson (for the opening film Lucy with Scarlett Johannson), cinematographer Garrett Brown and Spanish director Víctor Erice (both the subject of special focuses and workshop sessions), as well as American star Melanie Griffith, and French actress Julie Depardieu.
The vast 8000-seat Piazza Grande open air auditorium will see a host of international and world premieres among them Jean-Jacques Zilbermann »
- Richard Mowe
Rome — The 67th Locarno Film Festival has unveiled a promising lineup, which sees particularly strong presences from both North and South America, more established auteurs competing alongside lots of newcomers, and a distinct diversity of genres and styles that is becoming the trademark of artistic director Carlo Chatrian, now at his second edition.
As previously announced, the Swiss fest dedicated to indie and innovative cinema in its different forms will open with Luc Besson’s Scarlett Johansson-starrer “Lucy,” launching out-of-competition from Locarno’s 8,000 seat open-air Piazza Grande venue on Aug. 7, shortly after the English-language sci-fi thriller bows Stateside July 25 via Universal.
Other titles unspooling on the Piazza Grande include the fest bow of Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, which turns on a displaced family from India who open a restaurant in the South of France. This DreamWorks/Participant Media crowdpleaser starring »
- Nick Vivarelli
3 items from 2014
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