Sight and Sound (2012) - Ghosts in the machine
- article: Ghosts in the machine
- author(s): Roger Clarke
- journal: Sight and Sound (01/Feb/2012)
- issue: volume 22, issue 2, page 9
- journal ISSN: 0037-4806
- publisher: Tower Publishing Services
- keywords: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV), Chicago, Illinois, Claude Chabrol, Festivals, Filmmakers, Motion picture directors & producers, Robert Altman, Theater, Works
Roger Clarke reports from a Turin marked by Berlusconi's fall and Altman's shadow
Taking place mere days after the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi, Turin - for years quite easily the most pleasurable of all the Italian festivals - seemed like the rest of Italy to be turning in on itself. But for the presence of the Altaian clan, including Robert Altman's widow and son, foreign guests and journalists were thin on the ground and there was a haunted air to the staff in this most haunted of cities, famous for magic, suicides and chocolate. Opposite the Genio Hotel, where most of the guests stayed, a cinema once used by the festival had been turned, somewhat pointedly under the circumstances, into a casino. The ghost of liberal autocrat Nanni Moretti, the man was supposed to save the festival and didn't, still seemed to cast a mortician's pall. Over the city, the spire of the Museo Nazionale del Cinema pointed like a minute hand to the silver of the Alps.
The model for the Turin Festival was a good one. The centre strand was always a retrospective, usually of an American genre director such as Richard Fleischer, and its relaxed and convivial hospitality ensured almost yearly returns from the likes of Claude Chabrol and John Landis in the years when he still jumped at every question about The Twilight Zone. This year, there was a good Robert Altaian retrospective including early TV gems from Bonanza and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, made when Altaian was a jobbing director-for-hire. One particular pleasure was the Kraft Suspense Theater piece 'Once Upon a...