Locarno Film Festival


Locarno Film Festival
The exploration of the poetry of cinema is the common denominator of the various festivals dedicated to the fascinating means of expression found in films. But this does not mean that all festivals are the same. They perform different kinds of research and have a different eye when it comes to making their selections. They also have different attitudes toward the public, and the public likewise sees them in different ways. And each offers its own special atmosphere. All these elements are the result of a festival's particular history and, over time, of the individuals who make the important choices and weave the net of personal and artistic relationships that determine the character and identity of the event itself. The Festival of Locarno, established on August 23, 1946, has had a complex history with many elements, alternating between worldliness and culture, commerce and art, commitment and disengagement.

Locarno Film FestivalLocarno Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival

Throughout its history, the festival has tried, in the apt words of Morando Morandini, "to transform its diversity into identity." During the 1970s a screen sixty-five feet wide was set up in Piazza Grande. The idea of architect Livio Vacchini, it marked a turning point, at a moment of estrangement between the general public and the cinema, and gave new energy to the concept of cinema as a spectacle for the masses. It was also the high point of the festival, which became "a festival for the public" at which directors and producers could measure the reactions of viewers right there on the spot, while offering everyone something varied and stimulating. The 1990s brought back to the surface the unresolved dilemma of the border between art and promotion, as critics noted that the principal players at the festival were not the films themselves but rather the "Great Communication Machine" in all its power.

Locarno Film Festival

But one critic, Gianni Canova, was the exception: "Locarno evades the rules, avoids the trends, and escapes from the fatuous kingdom of the chatterers....What we take away from Locarno is not one film, but cinema itself, with all its lively, abrasive, throbbing images. There is absolutely nothing of the 'promotional' about it. It is impervious to the temptations of marketing." The sixtieth anniversary of the festival has seen Moleskine notebooks, personalized with the event's spotted logo, play two roles. They are part of the official merchandising, and they also pay homage to the artists. Presented for the second time, having been used the previous year, they are personalized in a new way.

For further information:
on line: http://www.pardo.ch/

in libraries: "Locarno città del cinema. I cinquant'anni del Festival internazionale del film" di Dalmazio Ambrosini, Armando Dadò editore, Locarno 1998.

"Dalle suggestioni del Parco alla Grande Festa del Cinema. Storia del Festival di Locarno 1946-1997"di Guglielmo Volonterio, Marsilio, Venezia 1997.