Notes from the Competitions
From the 53 films in the International and National Competitions, we present here a selection of filmic discoveries (curated by Giuseppe Di Salvatore)
How to keep a high dramatic tension without overdoing things? Saulius Baradinskas knows how, without relying on editing but by building strong characters, and an exceptional performance in long one-take scenes. A film that emotively hits like a bullet.
In the first animation film of her trilogy, Marta Pajek creates both a dizzyingly metaphysical and achingly sensual story. Through a minimalist aesthetic, her few lines intertwine and cause figures to transform themselves.
Eliane Esther Bots pushes us to witness the witnesses and enter the world of the translators of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The mixture of a dry setting and a sensitive approach to the bodies perfectly conveys an empathic experience towards people whose neutrality cannot but risk suffering traumas.
Coming back to the childhood town and meeting an old friend is the occasion to feel the pleasure and sadness of memory, to measure the light imperfection of the present, and probably the impossibility of a meeting. Louise Dendraën has been able to put this indefinite territory on screen and cause us to feel just how intense a nuance can be.
Read Emilien Gür’s essai on this film.
The light is responsible for the saturation of the child’s outside world, and the voices for the one of her inner world. A refined cinematic touch blesses Maria Semenova’s exceptional documentation of a fanatic Christian sect in Siberia, melding with the story of the child’s dangerous psychological evolution.
Peter Tscherkassky resumes the cinematic memory of trains in a filmic piece where the mechanics of cinema coalesce with the mechanics of the train. Frame by frame, he deconstructs the history of cinema in order to construct a story of the fusion of film and train movements, so that aggressive montage does not prevent contemplation.
A woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It’s not a question of hysteria or love but rather of subtle or explicit patriarchalism in contemporary society. Jela Hasler works on her film like a jeweller on her gem: one line of storytelling, one crescendo, and a series of heavily mastered filmic details that cause a simple story to shine.
Traditions fascinate and repulse. The perspective of a young girl embraces an ambivalent Hong-Kong, both modern and archaic, patriarchal and emancipatory. Yi Tang’s smart filmic phantasy displays a pitiless generational confrontation, while keeping a light and humorous tone. Unseizable and original in style, this is definitely a fresh work by a promising author.
Gentle for the colours and soft for the movements, Yoriko Mizushiri’s minimalist animation will certainly impress, mostly for its micro-violence. A flagrant sound commentary augments the sensitivity of images that primarily explore the sense of touch. This is cinema that gets under the skin.
What is the future of brutalist architecture? Going through the history of and caressing the current surface of ruined Campione’s Casino, Enea Zucchetti inserts his filmic reflection between documentary work and creative divertissement. The reasonable claim against a monster in the landscape still leaves room for fascination and artistic inspiration for the abstract and the dysfunctional. Not without a touch of humour.
Marija Apcevska’s naturalist storytelling would serve nothing more than an authentic portrait of a girl discovering her sexuality, but the final break of the filmic tension, and moreover the few seconds where she hesitates between childhood and adulthood, gives this short film an unforgettable climax.
Several films focus on transition and transidentity, more and more approaching the challenge of non-binarity. Anouk Meles’ originality is all in her accurate comparison with the world of animals. An almost scientific attitude is intertwined with the apparently candid perspective of a young girl, which allows us to reframe open-mindedness on the level of an ideally unproblematic hunger for curiosity and difference.