43 years of festival history, from 1974 until 2016!
Ravishing actress Claudia Cardinale adorns the official campaign visual of Film Fest Gent 2017. “We believe she represents the Cinema Italiana we want to celebrate during this edition,” says Patrick Duynslaegher, artistic director of Film Fest Gent. “Coincidentally, she is also the face of the Cannes Film Festival. We had already chosen our campaign visual when Cannes announced theirs. We remain convinced of our choice, because Claudia Cardinale - who was born in Tunisia - embodies the best of Italian cinema with her dark, sensual, southern beauty and her unforgettable performances”.
She has worked with some of the greatest Italian directors: Fellini (Otto e Mezzo), Visconti (Rocco e i suoi fratelli; Il Gattopardo; Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa), Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West / C’era una volta in West), Mauro Bolognini (Il Bell’Antonio). Sporadically, she also worked in Hollywood (Circus World by Henry Hathaway; The Pink Panther by Blake Edwards; The Professionals by Richard Brooks), which made her, together with Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigada, one of the greatest international Italian stars from the fifties, sixties and seventies.
In a special selection titled ‘Focus on Italy’ we present the best of the new Italian cinema and look back at the glorious past of one of the most historically important film countries in the world.
Patrick Duynslaegher: “With ‘neorealist cinema’ Italy launched the most influential movement in history. Because of Italy’s incredibly rich and varied film patrimony, we chose to emphasise one important aspect of Italian cinema in the retrospective part of the film festival, which will certainly resonate with modern audiences in these turbulent and uncertain times: the politically charged, socially engaged, but also aesthetically remarkable cinema which flourished mostly in the seventies. Italian cinema was very ideologically motivated, soaked with social commentary and controversy. It put forward the larger questions which still dominate the country: the chasm between North and South, the mafia, corruption, the power of the church, its (unresolved) fascist past, the extremism of left-wing and right-wing parties, terrorism, the ‘strategy of tension’ which was meant to prepare the country for a reactionary coup, the repressive Christian-democratic regime, the disastrous consequences of consumer culture”.
Some titles of films in which one or more of these themes appear: Il Caso Mattei (1972) by Francesco Rosi; Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (1970) by Elio Petri; Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1963) by Luchino Visconti; Il Conformista (1970) and Novecento (1976) by Bernardo Bertolucci; Porcile (1969) by Pier Paolo Pasolini; Una Giornata particolare (1977) by Ettore Scola.
Filmmusic: a jazzy celebration
This year the World Soundtrack Awards Gala, held on Wednesday October 18th and the Symphonic Jazz Concert, held on Thursday October 19th, both powered by Film Fest Gent, will focus on the incredible influence of jazz music on the art of film scoring from the past and the present. Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Dirk Brossé will perform compelling classical and contemporary jazz scores, accompanied by film clips on the big screen. Brussels Jazz Orchestra will join the stage on October 19th.
"In the year that we celebrate the 100th birthday of jazz, how could we not focus on this quintessential American art form at the World Soundtrack Awards?" says artistic director Patrick Duynslaegher. "Especially since the rise of the Jazz Age coincided with the development and worldwide success of another quintessential American art form and entertainment: the movies. Over the years jazz and film have influenced and enriched each other. In our two concerts (World Soundtrack Awards Gala & Concert and Symphonic Jazz Concert) we bring the best of the great jazz scores from the past and the present. Two concerts you can’t afford to miss if you are a fan of film music, jazz or just plain great music!"