Dispatch from Küstendorf: Day Two
The second day of the Küstendorf Film Festival began with a touching film about the man-dog bond featured in the Retrospective of Greatness section. The Lone Wolf by Obrad Gluščević, stars a very young Slavko Štimac, playing Ranko who befriends a German shepherd, that survived the war and protects him from the people of his village who want to hunt him down.
You Have The Night by Ivan Salatić, presented in the Kustendorf Presents New Authors, depicts the story about Sanja, who is forced to return to her coastal hometown in Montenegro after she loses her job as a hostess aboard a ship. Unemployment, natural disaster and death unravel in this powerful movie, that is bringing Montenegrin filmmaking to the attention of the festival circuit.
The section Contemporary Trends featured Alice Rohrwacher’s acclaimed Happy As Lazzaro. The Italian filmmaker portrays a cinematic tale about Lazzaro, a young and good-hearted peasant and other farmers who are exploited by a tobacco Marchioness. After the screening, a Workshop with cast members Sergi López, Adriano Tardiolo, Luca Chikovani, enlightened audiences on this delicate film shot between Umbria, Lazio, Torino and Milano inspired by a true story.
Italian Adriano Tardiolo playing Lazzaro explained his experience on set: “This was my first film, since I’m not a professional actor. It was a coincidence to be cast in this film, I met Alice [the director] who was making auditions in my school, but I did not take part in them. However we had the opportunity to meet and she gave me the role. This was a completely new experience for me, some traits of Lazzaro are mine, but others I had to learn to convey in this role.”
Georgian Luca Chikovani in the role of Tancredi also shared Adriano’s big screen debut as he said: “It was my first experience, I’m a singer and started with YouTube and I was lucky because Alice saw one of my videos on MTV and reached out to me. My mother is a Director of Photography and she encouraged me to accept the role. I was so used to writing my own scripts and editing my videos that on set I always felt inadequate, but Alice kept reminding me she was the director. She made us understand several things about contemporary society and today’s materialism.”
Famed Catalunyan Sergi López received an award by the Director of the Festival Professor Kusturica — who also promised him a role in one of his new films — and expressed the way he was touched to work on the film: “Alice really made us feel like we were part of a family. All the farmers were real people, so I felt overwhelmed to share part of their lives while shooting the movie. Actors are not important, we are tools to express the director’s vision through our characters. I felt that this script was fascinating because of all the ancestral religion references, such as compassion.”
The Competition Programme short films kicked off with All These Creatures by Charles Williams, a film about an adolescent tackling his demons, as he tries to untangle his memories. Slaughter by Saman Hosseinpuor & Ako Zandkarimi traced the struggle of Ghasem, who goes through a series of mishaps in selling his cow. How To Swim by Noa Gusakov focuses on the story of a pregnant woman, Abigail who is terrified about the imminent birth and finds support in a lady with whom she spends an unusual afternoon. Hasta Siempre, Comandante by Faisal Attrache unrolls a tender attempt of 14-year old Ernesto tackling between his desire to get a tattoo and his father’s Cuban ideals that contrast his desires. The Last Tale About Earth by Magdalena Seweryn & Igor Polaniewicz is an impressive story about a father and his two children, who try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. To Hell With Marie by Léopold Dewolf depicts an obsessive love triangle between Luke, Gabrielle and Marie.
The second Day of 2019’s Küstendorf Film and Music Festival came to an end with an engaging concert by Italian singer-songwriter Vinicio Capossela. His style blends Italian folk music (especially the one of Irpinia, the part of Campania where his family moved from in the 1950s), with blues, vaudeville, and experimental genres (inspired by Tom Waits’ music), with lyrics inspired by masters of literature such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Taylor Coleridge to mention a few.
See our Earlier Coverage here.