January 28, 2023

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Tff 2022, the director who doesn’t show his movie stormed out

Turin. Divisive like Pirandello’s characters, Pedro Henrique travels festivals with his film with the sole purpose of not participating in them. He had already done it in May at IndieLisboa, and it was repeated yesterday at the Turin Film Festival. Frágil, the Portuguese director’s first film, is scheduled for 2pm at Cinema Massimo in the Nuovimondi department. It’s a free little movie, set in the world of nightclubs, which the author knows well because he’s also a DJ. According to the festival’s routine, before the show he and the producer go under the screen for the presentation, accompanied by the interpreter. But instead of talking about Frágil, the two launched a long ideological tirade against film festivals. Not just TFF, everyone. Heterogeneous institutions (but perhaps he meant heterogeneous directing), funded by public money, are useful only to those who organize them and not to the films presented.

The audience is amazed, the festival intervenes. Program coordinator Luca Andreotti asks the director if he intends to screen the film. The answer is no and at this point the translation service stops. Undeterred, however, Henrique continues, opening a book and beginning to read a few pages out loud. Meanwhile, the spectators stream away, forming a long reverse line, which is shown to the cash desk to get the ticket money back. About twenty stayed inside, hypnotized by the nonsense of the situation.

Accompanied by the departure without resistance, Henrique and the producer sit on the pavement like a madonnari, and conclude an afternoon of revolution selling DVDs of Frágil for one euro. To avoid unwanted appearances, tonight’s 9:45 p.m. “I’ve been doing this work for twenty-six years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Andreotti smiles, while director Steve Della Casa calls it “Dadaism out of time.” An impressive combination of a bewildered afternoon at TFF.

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