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Locarno Film Festival To Celebrate Columbia Pictures Centennial

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Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival will celebrate the centennial of Columbia Pictures with an expansive retrospective titled The Lady with the Torch, mounted in collaboration with the studio’s parent company, Sony. 

Organized in partnership with the Cinémathèque suisse, The Lady with the Torch will be curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht, co-director of Il Cinema Ritrovato, an annual festival in Bologna dedicated to film history and film restoration. The official unveiling will take place at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles on Thursday. 

Locarno has said the retrospective will present the studio in “all its glory,” shining a light on lesser-known genre filmmakers like Max Nosseck, Seymour Friedman, and William A. Seiter, as well as celebrating auteurs like Howard Hawks, Frank Borzage, Fritz Lang, Frank Capra, George Stevens, and John Ford. After launching at the 77th Locarno Film Festival, running August 7-17, the retrospective will tour the world.  The Retrospective will be accompanied by an English-language book on Columbia Pictures published by Les Éditions de l’Œil, edited by Ehsan Khoshbakht, and featuring contributions from international writers.

“We are proud that the centennial celebration of Columbia Pictures in Locarno will be a journey through a richly creative moment for American cinema, including masterpieces, new discoveries, and classics,” said Giona A. Nazzaro, Locarno Artistic Director. 

Khoshbakht added: “Lady with the Torch is an unofficial history of Columbia Pictures that celebrates big names, Oscar winners, and era-defining films but pays equal attention to the B-unit and yet-to-be-discovered masters. Think the fast-talking career women of screwball comedies or think existentialist cowboys, prophetic anti-fascist quickies, or unsettling ‘problem pictures’. Sony’s generosity means we will bring to Locarno new restorations of films by John Ford and Phil Karlson, among many other gems. Once upon a time, there was a brilliant exchange between art and commerce, between the system and the artist, and this Retrospective will celebrate that.”



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