'Prevenge', the latest sensation at the Venice Film Festival, to close the Sitges 2016 Noves Visions section
The section will also feature the terrifying, internationally award winning Iranian film 'Under the Shadow'
Over the course of nine days, thirty something new and different visions of fantasy will be on parade in Sitges, showing the excellent moment this genre is experiencing. A big surprise was the screening of Prevenge at the Venice Film Festival this year, the film that will bring the Sitges 2016 Noves Visions section to a close.
Prevenge is the directing debut of actress and screenwriter Alice Lowe (who many will know for her work with director Ben Wheatley in Sightseers, seen at Sitges 2012). The film, a black comedy in the style of the English director, was shot during the seventh month of Lowe’s own pregnancy, and here she gives life to a madwoman in the late stages of pregnancy who seeks revenge for her husband’s death. Brutally funny and savagely vengeful, the “alternative” pregnancy proposed in Prevenge will leave more than one spectator glued to the seat.
Featured in the Noves Visions One Section, which includes genre films as seen from an auteur point of view, are two productions from the Sundance Film Festival: the American The Greasy Strangler and the Iranian Under the Shadow. Directed by Jim Hosking (who participated in ABCs of Death 2), The Greasy Strangler was one of the most controversial movies at Sundance due to people actually walking out of the theater. The bizarre relationship between a father and his son –and their “greasy” appearance- will give people plenty to talk about in Sitges. As they will also be talking about one of the best horror proposals of the year, compared by many to TheBabadook (2014): the Iranian Under the Shadow, from debut director Babak Anvari, who takes us to 1980’s Teheran in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war. There, a mother and her daughter live through the Ayatollahs’ reign of terror in a semi-empty apartment building, when the little girl starts to communicate with some aggressive presences. A “ghostly” endeavor that will cause more than one scare in among the audience. And still in Iran, we will also be presenting A Dragon Arrives!, but this time in the Noves Visions Plus section (more transgressive endeavors closer to experimental cinema) directed by Mani Haghighi. According to the words of Ángel Sala himself, the Festival director: "it’s one of this year’s most mind blowing visual endeavors, surprising and challenging at the same time because it constantly plays with the spectator".
This year Noves Visions is also spotlighting Japanese Sion Sono, screening his two latest works and a documentary about this filmmaker who has already become a cult figure. In a special screening, you can see The Sion Sono,by Arata Oshima, a documentary that attempts to reveal the artist’s creative methods and bring the spectator closer to his life, behind and away from the cameras, during the filming of The Whispering Star, Sono’s next to last film with a screenplay he wrote almost 20 years ago and that finally saw the light in a very personal project by the director. Precisely The Whispering Starcan also be seen in this Sitges 2016 section in another special screening. And continuing with Sion Sono, Noves Visions One will also be offering his latest film Antiporno, a satire and tribute, at the same time, to the world of erotic cinema (or 'pinku eiga' in Japanese) and 'roman porno'.
As previously announced, the section’s opening film is the new endeavor by Wayne Wang. Based on the story of the same name by journalist and writer Javier Marías, Mientras ellas duermen, While the Women Are Sleeping is the return to feature length of Hong Kong filmmaker Wayne Wang, five years after his last project, as well as his first film shot with a Japanese studio. The film was presented at the past Berlin Festival and stars Hidetoshi Nishijima (Dolls) and Takeshi Kitano (Kikujiro), in one of his few appearances as an actor in a movie not directed by him. The film starts off as a typical drama and ends up culminating in a spiral of mystery a writer spending a few days with his wife at a hotel on the coast is dragged into.
Added to the previously announced Catalan films in Noves Visions (La propera pell by Isa Campo and Isaki Lacuesta, Salvación by Denis Castro and Vestigis by Iván Morillo), is the film El cor del pi negre in the Noves Visions Plus section. Directed by Jaume Pujadas, El cor del pi negre is a documentary about the filmmaker from Sabadell –now deceased- Llorenç Llobet-Gràcia, a director who, although he only has one film acknowledged in his professional career, has substantial work as an amateur filmmaker.