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Shorts at #Locarno67: meditation vs testing the audience’s patience

16 August 2014 6:47 AM, PDT

A guest blog from Mico Tatalovic

When the representative of Single Stream, one of the shorts screened here, said ‘hope you enjoy our trashy movie’ I didn’t actually expect it to be about trash. Nor would I have guessed that 23 minutes, without dialogue, of shots of the inside of a recycling plant could be so enjoyable to watch.

It’s the cinematography, framing and well-judged timing of this virtual walk through the recycling process that makes it a success. The absence of any dialogue or information prompts one to think about the process – why is it that some things are picked off at certain stages of the process and how do the workers make sure they have taken out all the unwanted materials from the constant stream of trash? The film does more than an educational documentary might do to pique interest in the actual process and people working here. »

- Alison Frank

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The Fool: A modern propaganda film

13 August 2014 1:24 PM, PDT

Dima Nitikin is an honest plumber who lives with his wife and son in his parents’ apartment. Studying architecture in his spare time, he’s what you might call ambitious, but not by his mother’s standards. She berates him and his father for refusing to play the system: when all of the neighbours are stealing to improve their meagre situation in life, their family looks stupid as well as miserable for failing to do the same. Father and son show their sense of social responsibility by doggedly repairing the public bench outside their apartment block, even though local kids come and break it every night.

When Dima is called out to examine a burst pipe in another block, he is chilled to discover two giant cracks running up either side of the aging building. Its restoration funds were tucked away in the back pocket of a corrupt official long ago. »

- Alison Frank

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Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice: At sea in search of love

12 August 2014 1:02 PM, PDT

 

A mechanic in the French navy, Alice (Ariane Labed) spends much of her life on board cargo ships. Her new boyfriend Félix, a Norwegian graphic novelist, waits patiently for her at home. She is called to serve on the Fidelio to replace a man who has died on board. Having taken over the dead man’s cabin, she peruses his belongings with curiosity, especially a diary which reveals his lifelong unluckiness in love. Meanwhile, Alice’s own love life becomes complicated when the ship’s captain turns out to be a lover from her student days.

If Fidelio were a Hollywood movie, Alice would never be able to forget that she is a woman, and most of the male crew would be against her, apart from one or two allies. Director Lucie Borleteau overturns our expectations of both male and female behaviour, however. Of course, as the only woman on board, »

- Alison Frank

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