Sitges Film Festival
The 2011 Sitges Film Festival, held 6-16 October on the Catalan coast of Spain, is finalizing its lineup, which now includes Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt, Kevin Smith’s Red State, and the return of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, who will be presenting their new piece Livide. In addition, The Thing (2011) has been named as the closing movie.
Be sure to visit the official Sitges Film Festival website for more info!
Official In-Competition Fantàstic Selection
Another Earth: a story of redemption revolving around a young girl traumatized by a tragedy in her past, and who will find the answer to her innumerable questions in a bizarre phenomenon, the appearance of a closely orbiting replica of the Earth. This film by Mike Cahill was one of the big winners at Sundance 2011.
The Divide: Xavier Gens, director of Frontieres, is back with the apocalypse as a banner to show the relationship between a group of survivors of an explosion in New York who hole up in a bunker waiting for the nightmare to end. A science fiction movie with echoes of post 9/11 paranoia.
Hell: Roland Emmerich backs this post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Tim Fehlbaum that announces the barbarism of a society that only believes in survival following the disaster that has turned the planet into a veritable inferno with unbearable temperatures.
Livide: controversial French directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (A l’intérieur) now return with a free version of children’s tales and an authentic tribute to classic horror movies ranging from Hammer to Mario Bava’s cinema.
Lobos de Arga: lycanthropy and humor come together in this Spanish production directed by Juan Martínez Moreno with a trio of aces: Carlos Areces, Gorka Otxoa and Manuel Manquiña. Spanish cinema recovers the classic werewolf theme but with a fine parodic touch, meaning we are in the presence of a worthy successor of El bosque del lobo or Paul Naschy movies.
Red State: Kevin Smith directs another film that’s distant from his previous ones (Chasing Amy, Clerks) depicting, with flickers of Rob Zombie’s cinema, backwoods America through a sect. A group of teens runs into some religious fundamentalists, causing a violent struggle when SWAT teams intervene. Fantastic performances by John Goodman, Michael Parks and Academy Award winner Melissa Leo.
Saint: following in the wake of last year’s big winner, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, director Dick Maas (famous for cult films like The Lift or Amsterdamned) presents Saint Nick as the star of this teen horror film that connects with the best 80’s genre cinema 80.
The Woman: controversial novelist Jack Ketchum, along with director Lucky Mckee, returns with the actress from Offspring Pollyanna McIntosh in a film where a “normal” family keeps a wild woman abducted in a cellar on their estate. A reflection on the internal mechanisms of violence in the heart of a typical American family.
Official Fantàstic Panorama Section
Apollo 18: Spaniard Gonzalo López-Gallego (King of the Hill) presents a faux documentary about a trip to the moon, so graphically spectacular that the people at NASA themselves had to report that they didn’t give him any of their material to complete the film. A science fiction style Paranormal Activity.
Detention: presented at SXSW where it was a huge hit among audiences and critics, Joseph Kahn describes the bad moments in adolescence in a shameless, bloody comedy with some touches of science fiction that many have defined as the Scream for the new generations.
Extraterrestre: after presenting Timecrimes in 2007 (the Americans have already bought the rights for its remake) Nacho Vigalondo returns with this comedy with a science fiction undertone and that is one of the most original, funny and complete films of the year.
The Innkeepers: the director of the magnificent The House of the Devil, Ti West, is back at it again with a film full of suspense, frights and more than one burst of laughter where the protagonists try to prove, with a recorder and a flashlight, that a hotel is haunted.
Pouler aux prunes: The creators of Persépolis, Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, once again take a comic of Marjane Satrapi to cinema. A renowned Iranian violinist tries to find a replacement for his broken instrument in this exciting story halfway between animation and real actors.
Twixt: Francis Ford Coppola directs Val Kilmer in a film of murders, ghosts and other surprises, based on a dream the director had where he even dares to introduce Edgar Allan Poe himself as a character. Visually avant-garde, Coppola uses 3D technology interactively.
Verbo: Eduardo Chapero-Jackson’s feature film debut is approached as a daring, courageous proposal in a tale where science fiction is mixed with a story line about juvenile urban tribes that wouldn´t displease even Gus Van Sant himself. The most innovative debut film in contemporary Spanish cinema starring Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Verónica Echegui and Najwa Nimri.
The Artist: the Sitges Festival wanted to include one of the surprise sensations of the year directed by Michel Hazanavicius. The Artist is an unforgettable fantasy revolving around the silent movies that rightfully becomes the best tribute the seventh art has ever paid itself. Impressive job by Jean Dujardin that won him the award for best actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Intruders: recently screened as the opening film at the San Sebastián Film Festival, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s new movie is a study of children’s fears in a dark thriller format that doesn’t renounce moments that are markedly fantastic and terrifying.
El Monje: brilliant adaptation of one of the founding novels of the Gothic genre (admired by Buñuel himself), Dominik Moll delves into the story of a 17th century monastery where a monk discovers the way of the devil. It has an all-star cast including Vincent Cassel, Geraldine Chaplin and Sergi López.
Gantz and Gantz: Perfect Answer: Kei and Masaro are run over by a train. They suddenly find themselves in a room with other people and where a giant ball dominating the entire place invites them to participate in a macabre game. The winner will walk away with a very longed-for prize: returning to life. An adaptation in two feature-length films of the more than thirty volumes of Hiroya Oku’s manga with flesh and blood characters following the new trend in Japanese cinema of making screen versions of their popular graphic novels.
The Thing: The eagerly-awaited prequel of John Carpenter’s classic, this time directed by debut director Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr., will be bringing the 10 days of the Festival to a close. The movie investigates the events that occurred at the Norwegian base neighboring the North American one where the 1982 movie took place, revealing what was only hinted at through clues and answering long-awaited questions, like the nature of the alien that’s terrorizing the Antarctica.
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