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His name is Lattuada: the Locarno74 Retrospective



Giona A. Nazzaro, Roberto Turigliatto and Olaf Möller present the Retrospective of Locarno74

The Retrospective of the 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival (4-14 August), curated by Roberto Turigliatto at the behest of newly-appointed Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro, will be dedicated to director Alberto Lattuada, an often under-rated filmmaker whose productive and fascinating career traversed more than four decades of Italian cinema, from his 1943 debut Giacomo l’idealista (Giacomo the Idealist) to Una spina nel cuore (A Thorn in the Heart) in 1986. In the years immediately after the Second World War, the “formalist” Lattuada successfully joined the current of Neo-Realist filmmaking, but without renouncing the refined and cultivated manner of his original background, blending that style with a taste for genre and popular storytelling.

Following on from Retrospectives devoted in the past to Lux and Titanus, the Locarno Film Festival returns to Italian film history with this season on Alberto Lattuada, whose early career took flight with those very production houses. Presenting the director’s complete filmography (including many works still rather neglected even by experts), the event will attempt to shed new light on an auteur who remains little known, especially outside Italy. Lattuada often appeared eccentric and unclassifiable but came up with a kind of cinema that was extremely modern, and simultaneously both high- and low-brow. As an intellectual, architect, critic and photographer in his formative years, Lattuada remained true to the Modernism of the vibrant cultural hub of Milan and was a constantly percipient observer, often ahead of his time in picking up on the grand societal changes of the second half of the 20th century. He was a great director who worked with a number of the biggest Italian and international stars of the period, and also discovered many talented newcomers — in particular actresses such as Jacqueline Sassard, Catherine Spaak, Nastassja Kinski and Clio Goldsmith.



Roberto Turigliatto, curator of the Locarno Film Festival Retrospective: “Sensuality, beauty, ambiguity, formal control, perfectionism and experimentation are just some of the ingredients of the astonishingly diverse output of a free, curious and anti-conformist man who today deserves more than ever to be rediscovered by audiences.”





Towards Lattuada and Locarno74
Over the coming months the Locarno audience will be able to follow the run-up to the Retrospective via the Festival’s official channels, where a number of short video features will be published, involving some of the Italian and international film scholars and personalities most closely involved with Lattuada and his work. These video updates will set a framework of ideas and points of view to shape the discussions that will develop live in August during the event itself. “Verso Lattuada”, as the initiative has been titled, will get under way officially in February with reflections and commentary from Italian film critics Paolo Mereghetti and Maurizio Porro, featured in the first two video teasers.

The Retrospective is organized by the Locarno Film Festival in collaboration with Cinémathèque suisse and Italy’s Cineteca Nazionale – Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Fondazione Cineteca Italiana and Istituto Luce-Cinecittà. The project will also involve prestigious institutions in Switzerland and abroad, creating a circuit on which the Retrospective will travel internationally until 2022. Partner institutions already confirmed include: Cinémathèque suisse; Cineteca Madrid; EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam; Filmpodium Zürich; I Mille Occhi in Trieste; Les Cinémas du Grütli in Geneva; Italian National Museum of Cinema in Turin; National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and biosecurity guidelines, towards a complete event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.


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Alberto Lattuada - Biography

Alberto Lattuada, Italian director, screenwriter and producer, son of composer Felice Lattuada, was born in Milan on 13 November 1914. He graduated in architecture in his native city but soon developed an interest in photography and the cinema. Building on his early experience as a film critic, he made his directing debut in 1943 with Giacomo l’idealista (Giacomo the Idealist), then turned towards Neo-Realism in the aftermath of the 2nd World War with Il bandito (The Bandit, 1946), in which the female lead was Carla Del Poggio, who later became his wife. He discovered many young acting talents, including Catherine Spaak (Dolci inganni, Sweet Deceptions, 1960) and Nastassja Kinski (Così come sei, Stay as You Are, 1978), and was a lucid interpreter of the zeitgeist in Italy during the 1970s and ’80s, directing in acclaimed collaborations with Ugo Tognazzi (Venga a prendere il caffè… da noi, Come Have Coffee with Us, 1970), Renato Pozzetto (Oh, Serafina!, 1976) and Virna Lisi (La cicala, The Cricket, 1980). In 1998 he presented the contents of his personal archive to the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana in Milan, of which he had been one of the co-founders in 1947, while Carla Del Poggio donated her archive to the Cineteca di Bologna. Lattuada died on 3 July 2005 at his home in Orvieto.





Discover the Retrospective of Locarno74




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