Preems, Brando screening to highlight fest

LONDON — World preems of Patrice Leconte’s Cambodian docu-poem “Dogora” and Volker Schlondorff’s Holocaust drama “The Ninth Day,” plus popular U.S. meller “The Notebook,” head this year’s lineup of the 57th Locarno Intl. Film Festival announced Wednesday.

Fest will also honor Marlon Brando with a screening of “Burn!” (Queimada), directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

The uncut, original English-lingo version, simultaneously re-released in the U.S., will unspool in the fest’s 7,000-seat open-air auditorium in the Swiss-Italian town’s Piazza Grande.

Event kicks off Aug. 4 with French film “Les fautes d’orthographe,” a ’70s-set drama about a teenage rebel helmed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann; Carol Bouquet and Olivier Gourmet star as the kid’s parents. The Aug. 14 closer is futuristic toon “Appleseed,” which fest director Irene Bignardi describes as “Japanese animation with a soul.”

In her fourth year in the job, vet Italo critic Bignardi dubs her selection as “very political, though in an easy, accessible form. It wasn’t planned, it just turned out that way.”

Themes of rebellion and modern-day realities pepper the selection, especially the 18-title competition. Sole U.S. competitor, Zak Tucker’s “Poster Boy,” which preemed at Tribeca, deals with the conflict between a right-wing politico and his sexually active, gay son.

Among the competition’s world preems, Bignardi singles out U.K. pic “Yasmin,” about a Pakistani girl in post-9/11 London, and South Africa drama “Forgiveness” as having commercial potential beyond the circuit.

Fest features a much reduced number of world premieres in the two main sections, competition and Piazza Grande, with only 17 against last year’s 27. Bignardi describes the competition between festivals as “very, very strong nowadays. The time for dialogue is over. And some, like Venice, are in a much cozier position.”

With former Locarno boss Marco Muller now in the Venice seat, Locarno’s perennial problems nabbing films from under the Lido’s gaze seem to have intensified.

“This year, Venice has ‘reserved’ nearly all the good films around. Many were not freed up in time for us,” notes Bignardi. Venice announces its full lineup in two weeks.

Festival is slightly trimmer this year (“for logistical reasons”), with the panorama section, Filmmakers of the Present, reduced by about a dozen titles. Following tradition, however, Locarno will still mount a major retrospective, the 91-pic “Newsfront,” which will examine the depiction of journalism in the movies across 100 years.

In addition, 23 films from the Mekong Delta region (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) will be screened in the annual Open Doors workshop, with most filmmakers present.

Vet Italo director Ermanno Olmi will be on hand Aug. 9 to receive the Leopard of Honor, and German producer Karl Baumgartner will be presented with the Raimondo Rezzonico Award, named after the fest’s late president.

LOCARNO LINE-UP:

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION:

“Andre Valente,” Catarina Ruivo, Portugal
“Antares,” Götz Spielmann, Austria
“Black Friday,” Anurag Kashyap, India
“Dastaneh Natamam,” (“Story Undone”), Hassan Yektapanah, Iran/Ireland/Singapore
“En Garde,” Ayse Polat, Germany
“Folie Privée,” Joachim Lafosse, Belgium
“Forgiveness,” Ian Gabriel, South Africa
“Muoa Len Traau” (“Buffalo Boy”), Minh Nguyen-Vô, Belgium/Vietnam/Germany
“Mcdull, Prince De La Bun,” Toe Yuen, Hong Kong
“Okhotnik” (“The Hunter”), Serik Aprymov, Khazakhstan/Japan/France/Switzerland
“Ordo,” Laurence Ferreira-Barbosa, France/Canada/Portugal
“Poster Boy,” Zak Tucker, USA
“Pourquoi (Pas) Le Brésil,” Laetitia Masson, France
“Private,” Saverio Costanzo, Italy
“Promised Land,” Michael Beltrami, Switzerland/Italy
“Tony Takitani,” Jun Ichikawa, Japan
“Yasmin,” Kenny Glenaan, UK/Germany
“Wesele” (“The Wedding”), Wojtek Smarzowski, Poland

PIAZZA GRANDE

“All The President’s Men,” Alan J. Pakula, USA (Special Screening Newsfront)
“Appleseed,” Shinji Aramaki, Japan (International Premiere – Closing Film)
“Cantando Dietro I Paraventi,” Ermanno Olmi, Italy (Leopard Of Honour To Ermanno Olmi)
“Dogora,” Patrice Leconte, France (World Premiere)
“Les Fautes D’orthographe,” Jean-Jacques Zilbermann, France (World Premiere)
“The Football Factory,” Nick Love, UK (International Premiere – Second Feature)
“The Hunting Of The President,” Harry Thomason And Nickolas Perry, USA (Special Screening Newsfront)
“La Jeune Fille Et Les Nuages,” Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland (Special Screening Leopard Of Tomorrow Retrospective)
“Kongekabale” (“King’s Game”), Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark (World Premiere)
“Der Neunte Tag,” Volker Schlöndorff, Germany (World Premiere)
“The Notebook,” Nick Cassavetes, USA
“Oh Happy Day,” Hella Joof, Denmark (World Premiere)
“Queimada” (“Burn!”), Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy (Tribute To Marlon Brando)
“Samsara,” Pan Nalin,Italy/France/India/Germany (The R. Rezzonico Award To Karl Baumgartner)
“Seres Queridos” (“Only Human”), Teresa De Pelegri And Dominic Harari, Spain/Portugal/UK/Argentina (International Premiere)
“Sweet Smell Of Success,” Alexander Mackendrick, USA (Special Screening Newsfront)
“Hacala Hasurit” (“The Syrian Bride”), Eran Riklis, Israel/France/Germany (International Premiere)

FILMMAKERS OF THE PRESENT (35 MM)

“Absolut,” Romed Wyder, Switzerland
“Apres Mûre Reflexion,” Mia Hansen-Løve, France
“Casshern,” Kazuaki Kiriya, Japan
“Cesky Sen” (“Czech Dream”), Vit Klusák And Filip Remunda, Czech Republic
“Cielo Azul Cielo Negro,” Paula De Luque And Sabrina Farji, Argentina
“Cinevardaphoto: Ydessa, Les Ours Et Etc., Ulysse, Salut Les Cubains,” Agnès Varda, France
“Le Cou De Clarisse,” Benjamin Esdraffo, France
“Un Cuento Chino,” Antonio Lloréns Sanchís, Spain
“Dig!,” Timoner Ondi, USA
“Geister Und Gäste,” Isa Hesse-Rabinovitch, Switzerland
“Greendale, A Town Coming To You Soon,” Neil Young, UK
“Guerra De Los Gimnasios,” Diego Lerman, Argentina
“Die Josef Trilogie,” Thomas Woschitz, Austria
“Mystification Ou L’histoire Des Portraits,” Sandrine Rinaldi, France
“Le Pont Des Arts,” Eugène Green, France
“Quand Nous Etions Punks,” Pascal Rambert, France
“Somewhere In Between,” Pierre Coulibeuf, France/Belgium
“Still, The Children Are Here,” Dinaz Stafford, India/USA
“Survive Style 5+,” Gen Sekiguchi, Japan
“Szezon (Eastern Sugar),” Ferenc Török, Hungary
“Tang Shi (Tang Poetry),” Zhang Lu, South Korea/China
“Twisted Tango,” Tommaso Cardile & Francesco Carrozzini, Italy
“Uncovered: The War On Iraq,” Robert Greenwald, USA
“Une Visite Au Louvre,” Jean-Marie Straub And Danièle Huillet, France

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