Quixote pic wins top prize of $26k

TURIN, Italy — The Olympic buzz may be over, but Turin proved it still holds an important place in Italy’s cinema landscape as the 24th Turin Film Festival came to a close on Saturday.

Top prize of $26,000 went to “Honor de cavalleria,” a minimalist Catalonian take on the Don Quixote legend.

Freshman helmer Todd Rohal picked up the director award for U.S. comedy “The Guatemalan Handshake.” Pic, which preemed at Slamdance, shared the special jury citation with “Cavalleria.”

Italian docu nod went to “Eliorama” (with a prize of nearly $13,000), while the Fipresci jury gave top honors to Kazakhstan’s “The Lineman’s Diary” (under the title “Notes by a Trackman”).

The horror-loving Turin crowds turned out in droves for Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series, this year accompanied by helmers John Landis and Dario Argento.

Critical opinion focused on Brad Anderson’s “Sounds Like,” though Argento’s “Pelts” satisfied the more gore-crazed fans.

Other titles in the “Americana” section included “Broken Trail,” helmed by last year’s tributee Walter Hill, and William Friedkin’s “Bug.” Closing-night film, announced mid-fest, was Christopher Guest’s “For Your Consideration.”

With a reputation for well-curated retrospectives, Turin had a strong showing thanks to a complete Robert Aldrich tribute, organized by fest co-director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.

On hand to help celebrate the man who created “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” and “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” were a spry Ernest Borgnine (speaking beautiful Italian and with amusing Kim Novak stories to tell), Keith Carradine, Rossella Falk and daughter/frequent collaborator Adell Aldrich.

The nine-day fest also rounded off the complete Claude Chabrol retrospective, begun last year and comprising both film and TV work; Chabrol was on hand again to talk about his career.

Tributes to softcore porn helmer Joe Sarno and Brazilian documaster Joaquin Jorda rounded out the program.

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