Last and rainy day at Concorto 2020!
A wonderful and extraordinary edition that only a few months ago seemed impossible. A big thank you to whoever made it possible and to whoever joined us: we hope you enjoyed our reviews.
While we carefully observe the sky and try to understand what to do, do not miss the second part of the Focus Lithuania at 6 pm in Palazzo Ghizzoni, this year’s last screening in the greenhouse.
And what about tonight? We will inform you as soon as possible, in any case, do not forget that this evening we will announce the Public Award, the Young Jury Award, the Grand Jury Prize, and the Asino d’Oro 2020.
And here, as usual, the Asinello d’Oro award from the AsinoVola newsroom (Sofia Brugali, Alice Capitani, Virginia Carolfi, Margherita Fontana, Vanessa Mangiavacca, Irene Pagano, Anna Vullo).
Asinello d’oro awarded by Sofia Brugali – Still Working | Julietta Korbel
During the XIX edition of Concorto Film Festival I fell in love with three audiovisual works, out of competition, whose core theme is musicality. Three works from three different focuses: the music video Dancers by Plaid; the short experimental film The Lament by Joe Duffy, accompanied by a remix of the song Keen for a Dead Child as performed by Kitty Gallagher; and last but not least the animated documentary The Fourfold by Telengut Alisi, a plastic rendition of the track Wave, born from the mystical collaboration between Huun Huur Tu and the Bulgarian Voices Angelite.
Still, it is silence that completes the images of Still Working by Julietta Korbel, my annual Asinello d’Oro. The meaningful and opaque photography, the intimate plot and the main character’s incisive performance make this short film a comprehensive work, which deals with the human effort to accept time and the changes that come with it.
Asinello d’oro awarded by Alice Capitani – Homeless Home | Alberto Vázquez
I would like to give my Asinello d’Oro to a short film that, though after days, still comes back to my mind. I am talking about Spanish director Alberto Vázquez’s animation Homeless Home: in a dark and disquieting world, whose only touch of color is the red of blood, the most disquieting thing is not as much its inhabitants – witches, ogres, skeletons -, as the despair that haunts them. Well-characterized, ironical, excessively human, the characters have lost their hope: though they do not feel at home, they cannot escape this nearly rotten reality. After giving up, they indulge, if not normalize, human vices, from alcoholism to violence, stirring up great discomfort in us in recognizing a world that is all too familiar.
A striking short that makes us question our society, somehow giving us a glimmer of hope: though trapped in a corrupted society, we can try to reject, at least for a while, its resigned and fatalistic mentality.
Asinello d’oro awarded by Virginia Carolfi – T | Keisha Rae Witherspoon
My Asinello d’Oro goes to T, by Keisha Rae Witherspoon, because during a crazy year like this, sometimes it seems to me that the only answer possible is reacting with the same craziness. The aesthetics of those taking part in the T Ball, the costumes, and Dimples’ unbeatable accent won my heart.
Special mention to Dina Velikovskaja’s Uzi (Ties) for the immense delicacy with which it deals with a theme that, as an archetype, is present in everyone’s life: the painful but necessary cutting of the umbilical cord that binds us to our parents, so to transform it into a rope that can help us overcome the challenge of self-affirmation.
Asinello d’oro awarded by Margherita Fontana – Clean with me (After dark) | Gabrielle Stemmer
My Asinello d’Oro goes to Clean with Me (After Dark), Gabrielle Stemmer’s wonderful experimental documentary. I believe this short film is the feminist gem that stands out in our selection, a contemporary representation of the slogan “The personal is political”, as seen in the social media era.
After saying this, a special mention goes to Apfelmus, Alexander Gratzer’s animation: it may be because I studied philosophy, but watching existentialist animals who seem to quote Nietzsche is not only unexpected but also definitely entertaining.
Asinello d’oro awarded by Vanessa Mangiavacca – Symbiosis | Nadja Andrasev
Seeing the most hidden aspects of your psyche externalized and depicted on screen is definitely striking. My Asinello d’Oro goes to Symbiosis (Nadja Andrasev) for straightforwardly portraying the labyrinths of the feminine personality, looking further into a theme the director already dealt with in The noise of licking, another wonderful animation.
A Special Mention to T for taking us on a cosmic journey and for succeeding in making the most of what few means, among which the short film, offer. To conclude, a tight hug to Still Working.
Asinello d’oro awarded by Irene Pagano – Homeless Home | Alberto Vàzquez
My Golden Donkey goes to Homeless Home by Alberto Vàzquez and I really can’t say much more about how much I appreciated it that I already have in my review (a pretty emotional review, of which I’m slightly ashamed). In addition to its graphical beauty and to the skillfulness it was made with, its story has touched me deeply. The main theme is among those I’m most attached to as of now, and the director was able to handle it with the right amount of ruthlessness without putting its lyricism aside.
Special mention for two Southeast Asian short-films I was really impressed by: Here is not There by Nelson Yeo and The Unseen River by Phạm Ngọc Lân. The first reminded me of one of the most beautiful doomed romances I have seen on a screen, that is Happy Together by Wong Kar-Wai. It also brilliantly depicted something that also happens to be a little aesthetical obsession of mine, namely the suburban setting. The latter is a profoundly evocative and special work, of few words and of superb looks (in this case too my enthusiastic review should suffice to explain which I subjectively think to be its merits).
Asinello d’oro awarded by Anna Vullo – Ijrain maradona | Firas Khoury
I give my asinello d’oro to Maradona’s Legs, for its effectiveness in managing to make a childhood activity, like the one of collecting sticker for a footballers album, as important as any mission that can measure a person’s value and passion. Simple, genuine, Maradona’s Legs is a short film that made me smile and reflect. Thanks to the two little protagonist one follows not only a fun story, but also a journey in the ‘90s Palestine, made even more real because one is seeing it through two local kids’ eyes.