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Believe it or not, today is already Thursday and we are moving towards the grand finale. Today, the Official Jury and the Youth Jury will gather together to elect the winners of the 17 th edition which will be revealed on August 25 th .
However, let’s focus on today: we will begin at 6pm with WABI SABI Focus Japan at Palazzo Ghizzoni Nasalli (here the reviews). Come enjoy these gems of Japanese cinema, you won’t regret it! Tonight’s screenings at Parco Raggio will begin with Hector Malot: the last day of the year, winner of the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes 2018, and with La giornata, a short documentary on a tragic Italian news item. Schächer is a little treasure which invites us to meditate on life and death while Sog is an animation short film where strange creatures seem to oppose a long-forgotten beauty. Damiana takes us to the heart of Brazil and Negative Space analyzes a tender father-and-son relationship. We’ll finish on a high note with Sex at the Ski Centre – the title itself is rather allusive – and Vihta, an amazing Belgian short film which will entertain you and make you smile. At 11.30pm, in the Greenhouse we’ll screen the third part of the focus Mirrors dedicated to gender issues (reviews here) while in the Boschetto at 11.15pm don’t miss the Bleech Festival Warmup with ALO!

Here follows the interview with Hughes Guéguen e Julien Taillard, dirctor and script writer of Conte cruel, a dimanche à la chasse (Deep Night).

Hector Malot: the last day of the year – Jacqueline Lentzou
Visto da Carlotta Magistris

Hector Malot, presented at the last Festival de Cannes, is a delicate short film about the last day of the year of a young girl facing family and emotional dramas, for which words never seem to be enough. The personal direction of the Greek Jacqueline Lentzou, almost entirely
realized with a hand camera and full of close-ups, creates a strong empathy with the protagonist. The viewer feels distant from the reality surrounding the protagonist which seems to be ages far from her own mental universe yet it’s still part of her inner world. A world made of long moments of silence, missed phone calls and an everlasting solitude filled with music from her headphones in a church.

La giornata – Pippo Mezzapesa
as seen by Sofia Brugali

La giornata is an intense cinematographic memorial dedicated “to Paola Clemente. Died from fatigue for a few euros on 13 July 2015”, that report the institution of illegal employment and labourers’ exploitaition in the agricultural sector, an issue sadly known throughout Italy. Pippo  Mezzapesa deals with the matter with great dignity and no rhetoric: the images don’t focus on the backbreaking work, but show the bus ride to the fields, while the charachters are already aware of the situation, they are witnesses. The dialogues are taken from the records of the trial, which started because of the complaint of her husband, and they target directly the spectator, describing what happened. Paola doesn’t speak, she’s unaware, alienated just like the spectator who finds out her story word after word. At the end of the short film there’s a symbolic torchlight procession: it is the homage that Paola has never had in real life.

Schächer – Flurin Giger
as seen by Sofia Brugali

In a windy night, a thief breaks in through the window of the house of a elderly couple; the morning after, the husband finds his significant other slumped to the kitchen’s floor, lifeless. Left alone, he decides to take his own life – “I have one last request: I would like to lie by my wife’s side”. The sacredness of this choice, as of the whole story, is emphasised not only by the mood of the movie and the background music, but also by the title of the short film: “Schächer”, thief, is a biblical term. In the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, Flurin Giger’s work deals with the subject of death and the endless bond which is created in it in a completely original way, backed up by Ernst Jacobi’s poignant performance.

Sog – Jonatan Schwenk
as seen by Yorgos Kostianis

After a disastrous flood a school of fish drift away and get stuck on old trees. The drier they get, the louder their harrowing screams get, waking up the local cave dwellers who don’t take too kindly to their intrusion.
Directed and animated by Jonathan Schwenk, Sog is a hybrid animation featuring no dialogue but with strong metaphoric undertones alluding to the migrant crisis and on how people deal with strangers.

Damiana – Andrés Pulido
as seen by Sofia Brugali

Damiana was born from the personal experience of the author and from his will to show a thorny glimpse of South America: the camera catches the life of a group of girls confined in the wet scorching heat of the Amazon rainforest, kept away from degrading and disadvantaged situations, from absent families and indifferent (as well as male-dominated) communities. In a kind of matriarchal leadership, a strong but rude woman acts as their leader and mother and teaches them the difficult path toward their growth and the journey to find themselves through prayer, work and dialogue. The emphasis of the images is focused on the growing bodies of these teenagers, often entwined, which sweat their demons and the torment of their difficult past. This is the reason why Damiana even goes so far cutting herself in an attempt to express and maybe exorcise her agony by sealing it on her skin.

Negative Space – Max Porter + Ru Kuwahata
as seen by Elena Saltarelli

This sweet French short film analyzes the relationship between a father and his son through what they used to do together, namely packing the suitcase. The stop-motion animation retraces their orderly way to love each other, folding shirts and rolling up socks to save as much space as possible. This rite was repeated whenever the father was away on business, and the son packed the suitcase for him making the most of his advice. And that’s how, in front of the father’s coffin, all the love and the sorrow condense in a short, simple phrase: “Look at all that wasted space.”

Sex at the Ski Center – Heikki Ahola
as seen by Margherita Fontana

A surreal comedy or nothing more than a simple divertissement? It’s hard to find the right words to define Sex at the Ski Center by the Finnish Heikki Ahola. What is certain is that one needs a fervid imagination and an uncommon sense of humour to conceive this voyeuristic fantasy set in the gelid Scandinavian winter. Seeing is believing.

Vihta – François Bierry
Visto da Elena Saltarelli

Vihta, a 21-minute long comedy directed by the Belgian director François Bierry, is the most radical example of what it means to refuse to submit to your boss. A small group of colleagues is invited to spend a day in a SPA by the owner of a multinational that has just incorporated the little tractors’ company they work for. In an awkward naturist environment, they immediately start an inner fight on how to capture his favor.
A little masterpiece of the Belgian comedy, with an excellent mixture of dialog and photography perfected and balanced with scientific precision.
The short film gained an honorable mention for the editing and the filmic rhythm that manage to create a hilarious yet not superficial product.
Capitalizing on both filled and void cinematographic space and time, this short film is a high-quality product that isn’t affected by the lengthy minute count; as the protagonist Serge would say: “Time flies when you’re having fun”.

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