Villa Medici Film Festival: the complete program
ROME – Fourteen films in international competition will be presented for this first edition of the Villa Medici Film Festival. These productions, of various genres and lengths, coming from the five continents, include seven world and international premieres and five Italian premieres.
Mixing genres and worlds – between directors used to the festival circuit and young graduates of art schools, self-taught, personalities of international contemporary art as well as an anonymous collective – the selection examines a wide range of cinematographic gestures, whose tension it can be summarized in the question: “What can cinema do?”.
How to represent contemporaneity through images and sounds? Filmed for the most part between 2020 and 2021, in full political and health crisis, the films range between the intimate and the political dimension, between stories and history.
From the first self-produced Ghanaian feature film, Amansa Tiafi by Kofi Ofosu-Yeboah, mix of Blaxploitation, “woman revenge movie” and political satire on the edge between pamphlet and Italian comedy, up to Between the Heavens and Me the great Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar who records the fear of the world in the isolation of the lock-down; from the new and awaited film by one of the most creative Italian directors, Michelangelo Frammartino, who with The hole proposes a powerful archaeological allegory on the violence wrought on the earth by modernity, a Inside the Red Brick Wall, by the anonymous collective of independent directors Hong Kong Filmmakers, a chilling account of the police crackdown on the Hong Kong riots. Politics is tinged with the hallucinatory mysticism typical of the South American Baroque, with The Great Movement, the second feature by Bolivian Kiro Russo, who films La Paz and the underclass of miners with astonishing magical realism, and the short film by Grace Passô, a famous Brazilian playwright and actress, who in the dreamlike Republic depicts the Brazilian nightmare.
The friability of the boundaries between real and virtual is at the center of the work of many contemporary artists: with Perfect boyfriend, the duo Kaori Kinoshita and Alain Della Negra continue their investigation of characters whose lives and actions merge with an entirely digital world; with Graveyard Connexion the Frenchman Jonathan Pêpe offers a disturbing reflection on death in the 21st century; while the British Ed Fornieles, with Associations, offers a hypnotic monologue through an overwhelming uninterrupted flow of images.
The young artists Madison Bycroft and Amie Barouh instead work at the antipodes of the performative staging: a theatrical and sophisticated device that questions the notion of gender, for the first, the uncompromising immersion in the world of Roma in Paris, for the second. What we commonly call “History” is also an object of reflection in contemporary cinema. With The top lip dan fennel, director Érika Étangsalé weaves, in 16mm and Super8, in color and black and white, the mythology of Réunion and the migration policy of the French government in the 60s and 70s of the last century, and, through the story of her father, offers a testimony of the visible and invisible wounds of the colonial history of the island. Pascale Bodet, with Are you going to give up?, continues in the creation of a burlesque and poignant fantasy through the characters of the painter Édouard and the poet Charles.
Finally, for the first time in Italy, it will be presented The Works and Days, a synthesis film shot in five seasons and lasting eight hours, winner of the Encounters section at the Berlinale, second feature film by the duo composed by the Swedish photographer Anders Edström and the American director Curtis W. Winter: an extraordinary meditation on how limited time of a life and the cyclical time of life coexist for human beings and their ghosts.
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