Is it really Tuesday already? Yes, it is: the unique Concorto boat continues its journey from film to film, with the afternoon screenings at 6 p.m. at Palazzo Ghizzoni, today dedicated to Focus Portugal, and with the premiere of the Fuori Visioni Festival in Piacenza, an event not to be missed.
The evening at the Park begins at 9 p.m. with Community Gardens, a rarefied Lithuanian fiction, followed by the Brazilian animation Guaxuma, a short film that is going to touch you in the heart. The first block of films ends with the animation Fest by Nikita Diakur, as extraordinary as always.
Lucia en el limbo takes us into a “coming-of-age” Puerto Rican story, while Invisible Hero leads us to Portugal with a story about friendship and mystery. Then the three short films that conclude tonight’s screening: Swatted, which encourages to reflect on cyberbullying, Sheep wolf and a cup of tea, which is a oneiric animated road trip and Blue Queen, a lightning-fast Parisian short film about personal re-affirmation.
In the Greenhouse, starting from 11:30 p.m., the second part of Focus Russia is to be seen (here the reviews), followed by Deep Night, in the company of Andrea Vinciguerra, director of Teeth and Pills. At 11:30 p.m. for the Midnite Talks Rael Montecucco will interview Andrea Vinciguerra, director of Teeth and Pills, screening during the Deep Night selection.
Community Gardens – Vytautas Katkus
As seen by Elena Saltarelli
This short film, whose director is the Lithuanian Vytautas Katkus, takes a fire broken out in a residential area as a pretext to talk about a father-son relationship. The son, who has emigrated to Albania, has quite a superficial relationship with his father and this reverberates, just as it happens
with the fire’s flames, every time they talk. The colloquial tone of the camera dwells on the effect of action and reaction taking place between the two, creating subtly tragicomic situations but outlining a bleak picture of the father-son relationship in question. The absence of a grandchild is repeatedly emphasized, suggesting the lack of responsibility of the 32-year-old son, who every passing minute feels more and more uncomfortable in a family that he barely feels like his own.
Guaxuma – Nara Normande
As seen by Yorgos Kostianis
Sand is often perceived as a metaphor for the passing of time, as in an hourglass.
The sands of time trickle through our fingers much like the fading memories of yore. Perhaps that was the reasoning behind Nara Normande’s choice to employ it as medium for her film Guaxuma. The short retraces the friendship of the director and her childhood friend Tayra growing up on the sandy beaches of Guaxuma in Brazil. By mixing sand with various other materials –while integrating them in stop-motion sequences blended with actual photographs, Normande delivers a unique and immersive visual aesthetic. The warmth of her fond memories scattered like sand in the sea breeze is palpable; as is her grief and nostalgia for an era long gone. “I learnt to keep the sea within me” the director confesses before closing her film with a hauntingly beautiful humming the melancholic lyrics of Do you realize by the Flaming Lips.
Fest – Nikita Diakur
As seen by Yorgos Kostianis
Nikita Diakur is a Russian-born film maker based in Mainz, Germany. He studied animation at the Royal College of Art in London, where he produced Fly on the Window as his graduation film. The uniqueness of his animation style was already quite evident, however, his fame skyrocketed after his best-known and splendidly irreverent film Ugly. This year we are pleased to present his latest work Fest, which sticks to the director’s tradition of adapting prominent internet stories, via his trademark psychedelic animation style. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to rave.
Lucia en el limbo – Valentina Maurel
As seen by Carlotta Magistris
Lucia is sixteen years old and is going through that moment of life when every aspect is out of dimension: either too big or too small for the personal evolution that is happening. Two things keep her metaphorically tied to her childlike dimension: lice and virginity. And so it begins, a fight against both of them in order to claim her adult identity, but without a victory: once aware that it is impossible to get rid of one’s innocence as a sign of maturity but that on the contrary it is a certain maturity that allows getting rid of innocence, all that is left is an empty bathtub and a hair comb to feel a little less “teen”.
Invisível Herói – Cristele Alves Meira
As seen by Sofia Brugali
In Invisible Hero, Cristèle Alves Meira presents the viewer to the person-character of Duarte Pina in the frame of Lisbon. Playing himself in a documentary about his life, Duarte is a blind man in his fifties, fond of literature, writing and singing. Wandering through the city in search of Leandro, a young friend of Capo Verde for whom he wrote a song, Duarte represents an (anti)hero that recalls the ones of Pessoa, to whom the short film pays tribute several times. And yet, nobody seems to remember Leandro when Duarte asks for information about him: who is
then Leandro, who sells ice creams on the beach? Who is Leandro, who occasionally works construction? Truth? Fiction? It is the main character himself that tells us that life is lived in the balance between reality and fantasy… And then the conversation with a girl met during the night eventually answers to these questions, giving a new meaning to the whole story.
Swatted – Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis
As seen by Sofia Brugali
Interesting in terms of both graphic and content, the short film by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis offers some insights into the practice of swatting, a term that comes from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). SWAT refers to the special police units specialized in high-risk actions. Swatting is a form of cyberbullying which usually targets gamers during their live streaming. Gamers are subjected to the invasion from a SWAT unit, which is triggered by a hacker call. This kind of interventions are highly dangerous for the unaware victims, who are not only swatted but also humiliated by being arrested in front of a large virtual audience The entertainer becomes entertainment himself, the player becomes a game in the hands of a hacker who enjoys manipulating the real world. Interesting is the videogame-like graphic, that, together with what the swatted gamers tell,
The interesting videogame-like effects, together with swatted gamers’ experiences, perfectly summon the overlapping of virtual game and reality.
Moutons, loup et tasse de thé – Marion Lacourt
As seen by Vanessa Mangiavacca
Marion Lacourt is an illustrator and creator of surreal worlds: chief among them the animal world, a sort of Bojack Horseman out of control of reason. Animation is what suits her the best: her stories seem to emerge from a picture book of bizarre short stories for adults. Sheep wolf and a cup of tea appears as a hallucinatory journey that begins in a full moon night, a kind of oneiric road trip lead by a wolf, which guides a boy through his dreams, from tropical and exotic farms to unknown galaxies. A new cosmos made up by figures and colours dances accompanied by a psychedelic, hypnotic music. In every corner a weird creature is to be found, introducing us to impossible and infinite places. This dream within a dream is a real hallucinogenic experience, an invitation to let yourself go. Maybe one night, in a park, in the moonlight.
Blue Reine – Sarah Al Atassi
Visto da Margherita Fontana
Fistfights, 1980s vibes, neon lights and a tribute to Jean ClaudeVan Damme. These are some of the ingredients of Blue Queen, the latest short film by Sarah Al Atassi (already in Concorto with Prends mon poing, winner of the 2018 Jury Prize). Nina is the blue queen: a young woman, with black skin and blue dreadlocks, harassed by the owner of the bar where she works, that is a violent big man who does not even pay her. The clash between the two can only be an animalistic reversal of the roles of prey and predator. The scene of the action, brilliantly rhythmic, is dominated by the vigorous and magical femininity of Nina, an alien superheroine. A pulp interlude that enriches the selection.