Welcome to the Locarno Film Festival 2019 - Locarno is in Korea
Throughout its 72 year history, the Locarno Film Festival has occupied a unique position in the landscape of the major film festivals. Every August, for eleven days the Swiss-Italian town of Locarno, right in the heart of Europe, becomes the world capital of auteur cinema. Thousands of film fans and industry professionals meet here every summer to share their thirst for new discoveries and a passion for cinema in all its diversity.
In Locarno they find a quality program, rich, eclectic, surprising, and where emerging talent rubs shoulders with prestigious guests. The audience is the soul of the Festival, as exemplified in the famous evenings on the Piazza Grande, whose magical setting can accommodate up to 8,000 filmgoers every night.
During its long history, the Locarno Film Festival has had the pleasure to welcome stars as Marlene Dietrich, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino, Susan Sarandon, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Juliette Binoche, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel or Adrien Brody This is what makes Locarno unique: every year it attracts major personalities from the field of movies, who rediscover the magic of cinema right here in Locarno.
BONG Joon-ho and SONG Kang-ho will meet the Locarno72 audience together
South Korean actor SONG Kang-ho, winner of the Excellence Award 2019, will be appearing at the Spazio Cinema on Tuesday 13 August at 1.30 pm to take part in a panel conversation with the Locarno72 audience. He will be joined by South Korean director BONG Joon-ho, who picked up the Golden Palm at Cannes this year for his film Gisaengchung (Parasite). Moderating the discussion will be Executive Director of ARTE France Cinema and former Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, Olivier Père.
Working under BONG Joon-ho’s direction has been crucial in the development of SONG’s career, inducing him to reshape the lead role in a delicate balance between the centralizing figure of the head of the family and the hero unable to resolve his own destiny, typical of modern cinema. A fine example is provided by the unlucky provincial detective in Salinui chueok (Memories of Murder, 2003), their first, groundbreaking collaboration, but it was with the father in Gwoemul (The Host, 2006), a snack-bar owner plunged into confrontation with a monstrous creature, that they created one of the biggest hits in Korean box office history.
BONG Joon-ho and SONG Kang-ho continued working together for 2013’s Snowpiercer, based on the French sci-fi graphic novel Le Transperceneige, in which the Korean star more than held his own among a cast of global stars that included Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris. The South Koreans’ partnership has now been laurelled by the top prize at the 72nd Cannes Festival for Gisaengchung (Parasite, 2019), in which SONG once again plays a father, an affectionate loser in a money-driven society, who proves capable of turning himself into the phantom of the dignity of the oppressed. Parasite is currently going on theatrical release across Europe, so this summer is a perfect opportunity to see the movie and then meet the director and lead player in Locarno to join in a discussion of their work together.
The tribute to SONG Kang-ho will also be accompanied by screenings of several stand-out titles in his filmography: Banchikwang (The Foul King, 2000) by KIM Jee-woon, Boksuneun naui geot (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2002), the first film in the so-called revenge trilogy by PARK Chan-wook, and Salinui chueok (Memories of Murder, 2003) by BONG Joon-ho. The latter will be the late-night feature for “Crazy Midnight” in Piazza Grande on 12 August, when SONG will receive the Excellence Award in person. On Tuesday 13 August at 1.30 pm, the Festival audience will be able to join the actor in the Spazio Cinema for a panel discussion featuring his fellow South Korean, director BONG Joon-ho, and moderated by Olivier Père.
The 72th Locarno Festival will be held from 7th to 17th August 2019.