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B-Movies Master Roger Corman to be Feted by Locarno Film Festival

The Locarno Film festival will fete U.S. “King of the B’s” Roger Corman, who is expected to attend and hold an on-stage conversation at the Swiss fest dedicated to indie and cutting-edge cinema.

Corman, who is 90, has agreed to make the trek to Locarno as guest of honor of the fest’s Filmmakers Academy, which provides training for young directors. The festival, now in its 69th edition, runs from Aug. 3 to 13.

The tribute to Corman will comprise screenings of his 1962 school desegregation drama, “The Intruder,” starring William Shatner as a rabble-rousing racist, and 1964’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, top-lining Vincent Price.

“As director and screenwriter, [Corman] made a long series of films whose low-budget model combined principles of quality and popular appeal in unprecedented ways,” the fest said in a statement.

“And through his auteur approach he reinvented the world of genre filmmaking, from horror to science fiction to splatter,” it added.

The statement went on to point out that Corman’s achievements include launching the careers of Jack Nicholson, Charles Bronson, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock, among other thesps, and making icons of Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff.

“Merely mentioning the name Roger Corman evokes an approach to understanding and making films that is synonymous with freedom and independence,” said Carlo Chatrian, the festival’s artistic director.

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