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Pablo Helman´s special effects and the return of Jim Mickle are the highlights of Sitges today



Jim Mickle returns to Sitges with his eagerly awaited Cold in July, set in 1980’s Texas; Ana Lily Amirpour reinvents the vampire myth with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and the famous graphic artist Marjane Satrapi presents her third movie,  The Voices, on a day marked by the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Carnet Jove Jury and the master class by the guru of special effects, Pablo Helman. 

Jim Mickel’s Cold in July, was one of the highlights today, Monday, in Sitges. Mickel, one of the representatives of the Sitges Generation and who already premiered Stake Land (2010) and We are What We Are (2013) at other Festival editions, presented his new work this afternoon at the Auditori. In Cold in July the viewer travels to 1980’s rural Texas through a camera filming saturated colors, to experience the story of violence and corruption faced by Richard, a family man who, nerves on end, doesn’t hesitate to shoot a man who breaks into his home in the middle of the night. 

Today was also the day for Anna Lilly Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,  which takes place in an indefinite Iranian shithole of a city. A monochrome movie shot in Farsi language that was a big hit in Cannes. Produced by Elijah Wood, the film reflects an interesting reinterpretation of the vampire myth based on a love story between two lonely beings, one of which is very much into blood.

Iranian Marjane Satrapi, a famous comic author thanks especially to her work Persépolis, presented her third film today: The Voices, a black comedy where Ryan Reynolds tries to hide a body, and that received a warm welcome at Sundance. With The Voices, the spectator discovers a microcosm where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and where Satrapi shows that she’s still got her suggestive, creative talent. 

One of the moments of the day that created the greatest expectation was the master class by Pablo Helman, supervisor of visual effects for Industrial Light & Magic and right hand man for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Helman, who is considered to be one of the world’s best in his specialty, has works on productions like Saving Private RyanThe Lost World:Jurassic ParkWar of the WorldsIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or The Attack of the Clones. The Argentinian specialist offered a session full of technical examples to digitally capture actors’ performances or facial expressions based on the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. "You ask yourself the question what is it that makes us human, what are the subtle changes that a face makes when it goes from being sarcastic to pensive, for example" he explained. Helman stated that "digital can never replace actors because "we’ll always need a performance, which will have to come from some human being".

On the other hand, today the Illustrascience Comic Workshop exhibition held its opening at the Malvasia Bookshop in Sitges. The show brings together sci-fi illustrations done by students at the iI·lustraSciFi workshops held in September, recreating the fantastic world of dreams. The workshop’s instructors Jordi Pastor and Damián Campanario also presented their graphic work, Khalid: Crònica d'una realitat

The rest of the exhibitions offered by the Festival have been very busy during the first few days. REC fan have been able to stop in at Casa Bacardí and visit REC: An untamable saga, the exhibition that reviews la saga and the career of its director, Jaume Balgueró. Bacardí and Filmax are responsible for offering this comprehensive visual, audio and tactile journey through of one of the most famous horror sagas in genre through pictures, sketches, wardrobe, atrezzo and unreleased images, as well as an exclusive audiovisual piece made by Jaume Balagueró, that re-examines the [REC] quatrilogy.

The Blue Room at the Maricel Palace is presenting two different exhibitions. On the one hand, Ferro: a visual exhibition on Tetsuo, a series of black ink prints curated by The Bestiarie Record Company and bringing together by artists Liqen, Alonso Urbanos, Nando Vázquez or Miguel Sueiro, in a tribute to Tetsuo, the film directed by Shinya Tsukamoto and considered foundational for the cyberpunk film movement. On the other hand, Fantàstic & Terror, where illustrator Carles Ganyarul (Ganya) presents his collection of drawings based on scenes from fantasy and horror genre films that have left their mark on filmgoer’s memory. The illustrations relive movie classics like Nosferatu (1922) or Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and more recent titles like Alien vs Predator (2004), King Kong (2005) or Matrix Reloaded (2003), among others.  

On display at The Stämpfi Foundation is the exhibition Power Pixels 2014 presenting a selection of works by the famous Miguel Chevalier, a benchmark artist in digital art. The show presents Chevalier’s latest artistic investigations, through different virtual reality installations and a series of static works.

At the Auditori’s different spaces you can also see an exhibit of movie posters from the legendary Cannon Films. Also on display at the same venue are a collection of original pieces from prestigious productions from the distribution company PROPside.com, as well as the Gas Natural Fenosa Cinergy project, an original initiative to bring energy efficiency closer to the grand pubic through the seventh art and that is screening 1:58, Rodrigo Cortés’s short film presented in Sitges last Friday. 

SD Toys, a company dedicated to the production of collectable merchandise and figures, also offers an exhibition of pieces and characters from fantasy genre series like Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory and their new Star Wars products.

As for celebrations, today the Miramar Building is hosting an event of acknowledgement on the occasion of the creation of the Sitges Carnet Jove Jury. This Jury, made up each year of five young men and women who are Carnet Jove card holders, allows these youths interested in film review to be a part of an official jury and present themselves professionally. Attending the commemorational event are young men and women who have been a part of the Jury during these ten years, five of which will look back on their experience and explain the advantages and professional drive that come from being a part of it. Also attending will be Deputy Festival Director Mike Hostench, director general of the Youth Department Toni Reig, Sitges Mayor Miquel Forns, Festival Director Àngel Sala, and other personalities from the film world.


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