From the mind that brought us a runaway maniac tire and a cult of do-good dognappers come the titular antiheroes of Wrong Cops, the conduit to Quentin Dupieux’s latest absurdist assault on the senses. This is a filmmaker whose fans arrive with a very particular picture in mind, and whose newcomer viewers emerge either whooping with delight or wide-eyed with fright. His is a unique cinema indeed, unforgiving in its unconventionality; the philosophy of “no reason”, outlined in an opening spiel by one of the many meta-referential characters of Dupieux’s 2010 breakthrough Rubber, remains very much the dominant force within the world Dupieux presents. There is no reason to his madness, only a mad method of conviction so steely it can only be admired.
Browsing: Locarno 2013
There’s much to be mused over in Exhibition, the title as much as the film itself. The literal among us might interpret it to refer to the art show secured by the movie’s main character—identified in the credits only as D—as the story comes to a close. Those more psychoanalytical would take it to name the strange displays of sexuality she makes through her house’s large windows at night. Either reading is valid, but maybe it’s to that home setting itself—a modernist architectural curio, the sale of which offers the film’s closest semblance of narrative—that writer/director Joanna Hogg points with her title: are D and her husband H, fancifully maintaining the façade of happy marriage in this transparent living space, not some exhibition in themselves?
Locarno Film Festival: Day One and Two - What Now? Remind Me, By the River, The Human Variable, and Wrong Cops
How fitting an image it is: there, cradled by mountains on one side and a lake the other, before the largest open-air screen in all of Europe, the sky above alight with a fearsome thunderstorm driving viewers in droves from their seats to the nearest shelter, stands 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormákur, bellowing to the crowd abandoning his new movie before his eyes: “Come back! This is true cinema!” It was meant in jest, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less appropriate an end to Wednesday’s opening night of the 66th Locarno Film Festival: this is true cinema, and though the 8,000 seats at which Kormákur screamed may have been rapidly emptying, both they and that incredible screen attest a town ready to give itself over to the medium for the next two weeks.