Since his appointment as inventive director of the Locarno Movie pageant in early November, Italian movie critic Giona A. Nazzaro has been busy taking the reins of the outstanding Swiss pageant. Set to happen in August, the occasion now has a brand new programming staff in addition to trade chief — longtime Locarno collaborator Markus Duffner — firmly in place.
Nazzaro, who’s the previous head of the Venice Movie Competition’s Critics’ Week, additionally discovered time to write down a love letter to Denis Villeneuve posted on the Locarno web site in response to Villeneuve’s latest column in Selection, by which the director blasted the HBO Max deal for the discharge of his upcoming “Dune” adaptation that bypasses the theatrical window.
Having made his first strikes, Nazzaro spoke solely to Selection about his imaginative and prescient for Europe’s longtime pre-eminent indie cinema occasion, which he intends to guide into “uncharted territory.”
Let’s begin with Villeneuve. What drove you to react publicly to his Selection column?
What drove me to react to that fantastic column is that Villeneuve spoke loud and clear about what lots of people within the trade are considering. And that’s that movies belong on the massive display.
Villeneuve just isn’t complaining concerning the streaming providers per se. He’s not complaining concerning the smaller display. He’s defending the cultural and social concept of what cinema stands for. He was merely reaffirming that there are many methods to look at movies immediately, however the way forward for the artwork type itself is to be on the massive display. What I’m saying is: Dennis Villeneuve has been working with the massive studios and with gigantic budgets, however he spoke like one of many impartial filmmakers that you’d think about within the trenches. Even when individuals affiliate him with the big-budget studio motion pictures, he nonetheless had the readability of thoughts to be courageous and daring and attraction to what cinema really stands for: the communal concept of cinema. And, after all, I additionally need to level out that in Locarno, we have now the largest open-air display on the earth (the 8,000 seat Piazza Grande), and I might completely welcome a screening of “Dune.”
How does that discourse slot in along with your imaginative and prescient for Locarno?
I assembled my staff after a prolonged collection of interviews and conversations with a few of the most gifted and proficient professionals within the trade. And I’m fairly pleased with the end result. I’m assured that we’ll be doing one thing attention-grabbing. With them, I’m seeking to discover some new floor as a result of individuals know what the mission is for Locarno, however I might like to broaden it, and in addition discover some uncharted territory comparable to digging deeper into style cinema whereas cultivating a better relationship with the U.S. studios.
Doesn’t that battle with Locarno’s indie ethos?
I’ve a really broad concept of the pageant. To me, a pageant ought to have the ability to look in the direction of many instructions on the identical time as a result of, these days, there are such a lot of attention-grabbing movies coming from the massive studios which can be simply as attention-grabbing because the extra impartial titles. To me, it will be attention-grabbing to place these completely different movies in dialog with one another inside the principle competitors in Locarno, within the Piazza — to create a distinct hub the place completely different concepts of cinema might be skilled by as broad an viewers as potential.
Principally taking your cue and increasing from what you had been doing in Venice?
Sure. I would like to increase on what I did beforehand at Venice Critics’ Week. I’d prefer to introduce the idea that from India you possibly can have an animation movie [like “Bombay Rose” directed by Gitanjali Rao] that offers with the problems in Pakistan, and in addition gender-related points, or that from the U.Ok. you possibly can have a movie directed by a star like Billie Piper [“Rare Beasts”]. Or that from Denmark, you possibly can have a muscular cop thriller comparable to “Shorta.” I might actually like to work in increasing in that course.
Relating to style, your staff includes an skilled designated purely for style movies, Manlio Gomarasca. Is that this a primary?
Sure. We haven’t had that earlier than. The rationale I did that could be very easy. When individuals who aren’t into style cinema go for style cinema, they try to search auteurs who do style. As an alternative, I actually wanted somebody that appears at, and actually loves, style movies for what they’re; not somebody who tries to nobilitate or elevate them. What I’m saying is, there are extraordinarily good style movies on the market that don’t stand an opportunity in being thought of as auteur movies. Simply to present you a quite simple instance: when John Carpenter began out, aside from Olivier Assayas and some different French critics, no one paid any consideration to him as an auteur. So the thought of getting a marketing consultant for style cinema is presumably to faucet into the Carpenters of the longer term.
Let’s speak about sensible facets. Berlin simply canceled its bodily version in February because of the pandemic. How are you navigating staging the pageant?
To begin with, I’m completely heartbroken for [Berlin artistic director and former Locarno chief] Carlo Chatrian. I understand how a lot ardour and work he has put into this program. And to have to maneuver it and reshape it was courageous and daring. I applaud the answer, the energy and readability with which he embraced such a troublesome choice.
Regarding Locarno, we’re months aways from our version [Aug. 4-14, 2021]. There’s a vaccine. Hopefully we’ll all be vaccinated by then. Hopefully we can even have the ability to have greater than 50% of the [potential] viewers bodily becoming a member of the pageant. What I can say is that though we’re all sensible working, for us the precedence is the security of individuals working for the pageant. We’re working in the direction of a bodily pageant that may be as secure as potential.