Monday means the beginning of the week and thus distress, but not at Concorto, where it rather has us heading into a day of movies and park life.

Two not to miss events wait for you at Palazzo XLN:
– 5 pm: Talk Periferico/EN by EN Laboratorio Collettivo and Collettivo Amigdala – Presentation of the project Atti Clandestini per Terre Mobili by Micol Roubini, created for the festivals Sette Giorni Per Paesaggi – Immaginari del Limite (Piacenza) and Periferico (Modena);
– 6 pm: first short films of the Supernature focus.

And at 8:15 pm we wait for you at Parco Raggio to relax before the screenings, which will begin at 9 pm. At 11:30 pm in the Greenhouse will be presented the first shorts of the Guilty Pleasures focus and later those of the Forever Young focus, featuring the best short films screened at Concorto in the last years.

Severen Pol – Marija Apcevska
As seen by Margherita Fontana

Severen Pol, a delicate portrait of teenage discovery set in Macedonia, comes straight from the last Cannes Film Festival. The short film depicts the quiet isolation of 16-year-old Margo, who feels distant from her more easy-going classmates, but at the same time wants to be like them. To feel part of the group, she tries to lose her virginity at all costs but crushes against the reluctance of the young man she is fascinated by. Shot on film, Marija Apcevska’s short film is a picture of the soft, cold colours of adolescence tested by early sexualisation and the logic of the pack.

Étouffés – Ely Chevillot
As seen by Margherita Fontana

After his debut Ce qui échappe, Ely Chevillot returns to give voice to the hardships of the new generations. In Étouffés, Chevillot uses his characteristic dry and delicate language to show the dangers that lurk within an educational system devoted to excellence and discipline. The young protagonist Mayeul is a teenager whose school performance is excellent: intelligent, cheeky, gifted in music, he is among the most popular boys in the (private) school. However, what escapes adult eyes, and Chevillot brings out, is the toxic masculinity so widespread among his classmates, amplified by the use of social networks and instant messaging, powerful means of reaping victims and pillorying the guilty. The sound of app notifications, transformed into a loud and suffocating litany, becomes a metaphor for the failure of intergenerational communication and its harmful consequences.

Maalbeek – Ismael Joffroy Chandoutis
As seen by Vanessa Mangiavacca

Presented at the Semaine de la Critique2020, Maalbeek is a hybrid short film that, through Sabine’s memories, tries to retrace and analyze the mark left by the attack in Brussels’ Maelbeek metro station, which took place on March 22, 2016. Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis creates a shattered work, a found-footage of memory fragments that, like scattered pieces of a puzzle struggling to be put together, recreates a suspended and timeless space that corresponds to the dark labyrinth hidden in the main character’s mind. The amnesic dimension seeks shelter in the bulimia of images that are spread without control through official broadcasters, the web and social networks. Mixing documentary and animation, the Belgian director manages to balance these two aspects by playing on different levels, that of the omnipresent images (between home footage and surveillance video) and that of the figurative absence of the main character.

Lili Alone – Zou Jing
As seen by Yorgos Kostianis

Zou Jing hails from a literary background, but she found her calling once she began working at Shangai International TV station on documentaries as a director and editor.
Lili Alone (Duo Li), her debut short film director, explores the truths of modern China life through the story of Lili, a young mother, living a destitute life with her gambler husband and young son.
Once her father falls ill she decides to head for the city in a desperate attempt to raise money for his medical bills.
The film offers a glimpse into the dark underbelly of Sichuan, as the protagonist takes part in a nefarious surrogate scheme wherein anything that can go wrong, inevitably does so.
Lili Alone is a heart wrenching albeit life-affirming story of a woman’s perseverance to brave through a seemingly endless onslaught of hardships, utterly and sorrowfully alone.

Sogni al campo – Mara Cerri, Magda Guidi
Seen by Vanessa Mangiavacca

In the plains and in the wide brushstrokes of Sogni al campo it is really easy to lose oneself: a physical, pleasant abandonment, in the hilly landscapes and in the suburban meadows of a recognisable Italy: a dreamlike and emotional journey that in a few minutes guides us delicately to the changes connected to adolescence and to the difficult acceptance of them. Premiered at Venice 2020 in the Horizons section, Magda Guidi and Mara Cerri’s short film talks about the story of a child and the misplacement of his cat Leo. The constant colour flow, rendered by the brushstrokes, is in constant metamorphosis and each one of these hides the melancholies and the emotional turmoil of moving away from childhood purity. An illustrated story that has close relevance for us, capable of telling in an intimate and universal way everything that comes with growing up.

Marlon Brando – Vincet Tilanus
Seen by Margherita Fontana

Presented at the Semaine de la Critique at the last Cannes Film Festival, Danish director Vincent Tilanus’s short film depicts the friendship of Cas and Naomi, both gay, struggling with life choices at the end of high school. Marlon Brando, an icon of all time for his irresistible charm and his almost overt bisexuality, becomes the symbol of this two-faced relationship. A friendship that seems to follow the rules of love and is destined to explode. Moreover, as the director himself points out, the fact that the actor has become an icon for the LGBT community binds all the characters in the film, united by the family and social tensions they also encounter because of their sexual orientation. A story told in fragments, to translate, in the director’s words, “the countless miniature moments that made a friendship and the journey towards independence”.

Affairs of the art – Joanna Quinn
Visto da Sofia Brugali

Besides Affairs of the Art, Beryl is the star of three other short films: Girls Night Out (1986), Body Beautiful (1990) and Dreams & Desires – Family Ties (2006). In Joanna Quinn and Les Mills’ latest work, the woman is focusing on her passion: art. Searching for an original artistic expression, her reflection involves both her own life (her obsession for painting since she was a child, pregnancy and the job as workwoman) and the peculiarities of her relatives. Her sister’s fixation for taxidermy, her son’s mania for screw threads, her grandma’s fascination for pickling: every eccentricity corresponds to unique skills. Central in the short film are living and death bodies and their physicality. Beryl’s outspoken narration is a hilarious tale of human oddity.