Smells Like Teen Spirit: Three Locarno Standouts Consider the Beauty and Torment of Being a Teenager

IndieWire | 9/16/2019 | Staff
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The following essay was produced as part of the 2019 Locarno Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring film critics that took place during the 72nd edition of the Locarno Film Festival.

Growing up is hard.

Adolescent - Way - World - Changes - Mood

For an adolescent just making their way into the world, it seems like the physical changes, mood swings, and all the conflicting emotions that come with transitioning into adulthood are the most cataclysmic events in the world — a matter of life and death.

But what does it mean to observe this period from some distance, particularly through the cold lens of a movie camera? ‘’I probably never saw a happy teenager.” Italian director David Maldi remarked casually while promoting his new film “L’Apprendistato,” which premiered at the 72nd Locarno Festival in the Cineasti del presente competition.

Joke - Maldi - Job - Adolescence - Rite

It might seem like a joke, but Maldi takes very seriously this job of documenting adolescence, especially as a mysterious and sensitive rite of passage to adulthood. Maldi is interested in the contours of adolescence and how they serve as a bridge to a meaningful life, or lack of it; “L’Apprendistato” is the second in a hopeful trilogy dealing with teenage angst that Maldi started with 2014’s “Frastuono.”

Could Artificial Intelligence Spell the End of Independent Filmmaking?

Hotel - School - Backdrop - Moody - Movie

An ancient hotel’s catering school provides the perfect backdrop for this moody, quiet-until-it-isn’t movie about a semi-controlled experiment that’s conducted in the space between fiction and documentary. The film isn’t strictly one or the other, but exists instead in an interesting middle ground that seems rather suited for reaping fertile lessons about this fraught period. The protagonist is a 14-year old named Luca (Luca Tufano). One minute he’s minding cows and goats on his family’s farm; the next he’s stolen away and plunged into a strange institution where rules are rigid and everyone is expected to conform....
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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