One of the great idols in Asian action, Hong Kong born Dante Lam, presents ‘Operation Mekong’ at a Festival that’s also offering three exhibitions
Mondays are usually more laid back days in Sitges. Following the whirlwind of the first weekend, the audience settles down and takes a break. But this year was different. Dante Lam was in charge of making sure that there was no truce for spectators with the screening of his Operation Mekong. Because in Sitges there is no truce when it comes to fast-paced cinema.
Dante Lam is in Sitges. It wasn’t easy, but the 49th Film Festival made many fans’ dream come true. As a part of the Órbita Section, the Hong Kong based filmmaker presented Operation Mekong, an action thriller based on a true story related to the drug dealing going on along the Mekong River. At the press conference, the filmmaker admitted that many times truth is stranger than fiction: “there are different action scenes in the film that might come off as spectacular, but they aren’t all that different from what really happened”. To this effect, Dante Lam emphasized, along with the film’s producer Candy Leung, the painstaking documentation work they performed before shooting the film, which shows the excellent relationship there is between the director and the producer. Candy Leung confirmed it during her intervention: “Dante Lam is like a son to me. We eat together, work together and there even days we sleep together”. Dante Lam is one of the most prestigious figures in Asian action movies, on a par with stars like John Woo or Johnnie To. Films like The Beast Stalker, Fire of Conscience or The Viral Factor, which have been screened in previous years at the Festival, can confirm it.
A stroll through the exhibitions
In addition to lots of faced-paced cinema, the Festival offers diverse attractions via its side events. And one of them is its exhibitions. This year, two of the shows have been set up in two of the town’s most emblematic venues. The Maricel Palace and the Miramar Building. The exhibit Star Trek Universe. The 50th Exhibition, revolving around the Star Trek universe has become a meeting place for fans of this great saga, where they can see the props, scale models, wardrobes, autographs, merchandise, posters, etc. for themselves. It is a set of unique pieces belonging to private collections, organized and catalogued by the Star Trek Club Spain and with visual artistic direction by Mo Caró Artist. At the same time, in the Miramar Building, Star Trek fans can take a nostalgic tour of the saga. Under the name Illustrating the Final Frontier, spectators stroll through an art exhibit that pays tribute to Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Commercial Artists, illustrators, cartoonists, FX make up specialists are some of the main players in this galaxy.
The tour of the exhibitions ends at the Melià Sitges Auditorio, where tribute is being paid to cult director and musician Rob Zombie. The Vault of Rob Zombie: A Comic Tribute is a graphic tribute to his eclectic career. Coordinated by Borja Crespo, the show brings together the art of well-established artists and new talents like M. A. Martín, David Rubín, Manuel Bartual, Koldo Serra... A tribute that will be completed when the director presents his latest production, 31, in Sitges.
And the lineup continues
Sitges’ lineup was nonstop on Monday throughout the entire day. From the romantic drama between an invisible boy and a blind girl, Mon Ange, by Belgian Harry Cleven, to the horror of the British The Autopsy of Doe, by André Ovredal, an old Festival acquaintance, who in 2010 presented the fantastic Troll Hunter. In the Seven Chances section you can see the Korean The Silenced, a return to Korean horror at an all-girls boarding school.