53 at Locarno 64

By Robert Koehler

While writing about various aspects of the 64th edition of the Locarno film festival for MUBI, I also didn’t want to leave aside a bonus for readers of Film Journey. So, in an impulsive act that strikes in the small hours of the night when a visit to as large a festival as Locarno triggers a slightly feverish state (not literally, but the fever of watching up to as many as seven films a day), a simple, mad gesture: A list, in order of preference, of the films seen from August 3 to 13, through three days of rain and many more of San Diego-like sunny balm—an important factor in a festival that prides itself on nightly screenings in the world’s largest outdoor public cinema venue, Locarno’s Piazza Grande. There are many larger city centers—the Zocalo or Red Square would swallow up Piazza Grande in sheer size—but none that packs in 8000 audience members, who, like good cinema church faithful, attend night after night. Only when the rains really pour (which it did one night) do the faithful flee; they’ll even sit straight through crap, which does sometimes unreel in the piazza. The place, perhaps more than the generally populist films that screen there, is emblematic of Locarno as a happy gathering place for film lovers, perhaps the happiest in a world riven by deep, roiling troubles.

1 L’estate di Giacomo/Summer of Giacomo (Alessandro Comodin, Italy/France/Belgium)
2 Nana (Valerie Massadian, France)
3 E na terra nao e na lua/It’s the Earth not the Moon (Goncalo Tocha, Portugal)
4 El senyor ha fet en mi meravelles/Lord Worked Wonders in Me (Albert Serra, Spain)
5 Els noms de Christ (Albert Serra, Spain)
6 The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1953)
7 Lothringen! (Jean-Marie Straub/Danielle Huillet, France, 1994)
8 Alvorada vermelha/Red Dawn (Joao Rui Guerra da Mata/Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal)
9 Papirosen (Gaston Solnicki, Argentina)
10 Sin titulo (Carta para Serra)/Untitled (Letter to Serra) (Lisandro Alonso, Argentina/Spain)
11 Abrir puertas y ventanas/Open Doors, Open Windows (Milagros
Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland)
12 Buenas Noches, Espana (Raya Martin, Spain/Philippines)
13 The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry, US)
14 Hashoter/Policeman (Nadav Lapid, Israel)
15 L’Inconsolable (Jean-Marie Straub, France)
16 El estudiante/The Student (Santiago Mitre, Argentina)
17 Without (Mark Jackson, US)
18 Nayak/The Hero (Satyajit Ray, India, 1966)
19 Low Life (Nicolas Klotz/Elisabeth Percival, France)
20 Les Chants de Mandrin/Smugglers’ Songs (Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, France)
21 The Cloud of Unknowing (Tzu Nyen Ho, Singapore)
22 Din dragoste cu cele mai bune intentii/Best Intentions (Adrian Sitaru, Romania/Hungary)
23 The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev, US/Germany)
24 Schakale und Araber (Jean-Marie Straub, Switzerland)
25 Boxing in the Philippine Islands (Raya Martin, Philippines)
26 Solnetchniye dni/Sunny Days (Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan)
27 Terri (Azazel Jacobs, US)
28 Monsieur Lazhar (formerly titled Monsieur Lazhar) (Philippe Falardeau, Canada)
29 Il dono (Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, 2003)
30 El arbol de las fresas/The Strawberry Tree (Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Canada)
31 The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1962)
32 Saya Zamurai (Matsumoto Hitoshi, Japan)
33 Super 8 (J.J. Abrams, US)
34 Tokyo Koen/Tokyo Park (Aoyama Shinji, Japan)
35 Derniere Séance/Last Screening (Laurent Achard, France)
36 Mahapurush/The Saint (Satyajit Ray, India, 1965)
37 Saudade (Tomita Katsuya, Japan)
38 Cowboys & Aliens (Jon Favreau, US)
39 Crulic—drumul spre dincolo/Crulic—The Path to Beyond (Anca Damian, Romania/Poland)
40 Headhunters (Morten Tyldum, Norway/Denmark/Germany)
41 Hanaan (Ruslan Pak, South Korea)
42 Hell (Tim Fehlbaum, Germany/Switzerland)
43 Mangrove (Frederic Choffat/Julie Gilbert, Swtizerland/France)
44 Tai yang zong zai zuo bian/The Sun Beaten Path (Sonthar Gyal, China)
45 El ano del tigre/The Year of the Tiger (Sebastian Lelio, Chile)
46 The Reluctant Debutante (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1958)
47 Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/And If We All Lived Together?
(Stephane Robellin, France/Germany)
48 Goodye Charlie (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1964)
49 Sport de filles (Patricia Mazuy, France/Germany)
50 Onder ons/Among Us (Marco van Geffen, Netherlands)
51 Tanathur/Last Days in Jerusalem (Tawfik Abu Wael,
52 Senorita (Vincent Sandoval, Philippines)
53 Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1958)

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