Some 40 films by helmer to screen

ROME — The 65th Locarno Film Festival will celebrate Otto Preminger with a complete retro of the work of the maverick Hollywood helmer with European roots.

About 40 of his features will screen in the best prints available as part of the event being assembled by the Swiss and French cinematheques.

Preminger (1905-1986) made his first film, “Die grosse Liebe,” in Austria in 1931 before moving to the U.S. and working for 20th Century Fox. His works include the classic noir “Laura,” which launched his career, “Fallen Angel,” “The Moon Is Blue,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “Exodus,” “Bunny Lake Is Missing” and “The Human Factor,” shot in 1979.

There will also be presentations and talks about Preminger’s work from visiting filmmakers and critics, and an onstage conversation with retro curator Carlo Chatrian.

“Otto Preminger’s work marks the peak of classicism,” said Locarno artistic topper Olivier Pere.

“It is built on the art of balance, and a brilliant feel for composition as well as storytelling.”

Previous retros of Hollywood greats with European roots at the Swiss lakeside fest dedicated to auteur cinema, include Ernst Lubitsch in 2010 and Vincente Minnelli last year.

Locarno will run Aug. 1-11.

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