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Locarno International Film Festival

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    Being a Provocateur Without Being a Bad Guy: Locarno Artistic Director Olivier Pére

    Last year, Paris-based festival programmer Olivier Pére made the dramatic transition from head of Directors' Fortnight at Cannes to Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival. Now he looks a little more comfortable in his role, wearing the same blindingly white suit (he owns seve...

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    "Big Man Japan" Hitoshi Matsumoto is Tired of TV Comedy, But Loves "Columbo"

    Hitoshi Matsumoto's name may not mean much in American households, but in Japan he's a television superstar. Mainly known as one half of the comic duo Downtown, Matsumoto took his career in a new direction a few years ago when he started directing movies. Like his comedy acts, Matsumoto's work as a ...

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    LOCARNO REVIEW | Jia Zhang-ke Producing Credit Can't Salvage Offbeat "Mr. Tree"

    The role of Chinese filmmaking giant Jia Zhang-ke as producer of first-time writer-director Han Jie's "Hello! Shu Xian Sheng" ("Mr. Tree") doesn't properly convey its offbeat vibe. While loaded with considerably interesting ideas, it lacks the requisite energy to link them together. The story follow...

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    LOCARNO INTERVIEW | Director Julia Loktev: "I'm interested in good people doing bad things."

    Three years after Julia Loktev's minimalist suicide bomber story "Day Night Day Night" hit theaters, the director has returned with a new film that contains a similarly restrained style but deals with entirely separate issues.

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    LOCARNO REVIEW | The Real-Time "Best Intentions" is One Man's Anxiety, Many Points of View

    In "Best Intentions," a real-time family drama in which a young man continually worries about his mother's health, the tension fluctuates but never sits still. Following up his 2008 directorial debut "Hooked," Romanian filmmaker Adrian Sitaru constructs a temporally complex psychological thriller, m...

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    Why Julia Loktev's "The Loneliest Planet" Earns Its Leisurely Pace

    In "Day Night Day Night," Julia Loktev told the quietly experimental tale of a young would-be suicide bomber nervously wandering through the crowd of Times Square, impressing some critics if not much of an audience beyond that. Her long-awaited follow-up, "The Loneliest Planet,&q...

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    "Tahrir: Liberation Square" Provides an Intimate View of Cairo Protests

    A welcome contrast to the Western media's bird's eye view of the seismic January 2011 revolution in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the energetic verité documentary "Tahrir: Liberation Square" dives right into the action. As directed and shot by Italian filmmaker Stefano Sav...

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    LOCARNO REVIEW | Doc-Fiction Hybrid "Year of the Tiger" Evokes Horrors of Chilean Earthquake

    The destructive earthquake that rocked Chile in 2010 provides the starting point for Sebastián Lelio's "The Year of the Tiger" (“El año del tigre”) but as a meditation on insurmountable catastrophe its intentions are highly abstract. Shot in the Chilean countryside two months after the quake struck, the movie uses the remnants of damaged homes and scattered detritus as its sets, and follows only a single character wandering through them. As his journey grows increasingly dreamlike and distant from the instigating event, "The Year of the Tiger" approaches the apotheosis of its poetic intentions before eventually--and perhaps appropriately--los...

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    LOCARNO REVIEW | "The Student" Announces Santiago Mitre as a South American Aaron Sorkin

    A speedy depiction of university politics and the spirited radicalism associated with them, "The Student" ("El estudiante") announces 31-year-old Argentinean filmmaker Santiago Mitre as a South American Aaron Sorkin. A screenwriter whose credits include Pablo Trapero's "Carancho" and "Leonera," Mitr...

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    LOCARNO REVIEW | "Policeman" Is Not Your Typical Israeli Movie

    Everyone seems lost in Nadav Lapid's "Policeman" ("Ha-shoter"), an unsettling story of brawny Israeli anti-terrorist officers and the equally clueless activists they're eventually tasked with hunting down. While blatantly topical, this is not a political film of the moment, but rather a calculated m...

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