05-09-2013 00:00


Panahi will be heading up Sitges 2013's Noves Visions, a section that will also include Godard, Hong Sang-Soo, Sono Sion and Greenaway

In its non-fiction category, the section will present the premiere of the uncut version of ‘American Jesus’, by Aram Garriga, that plunges into radical American Christianity

Jafar Panahi, with his latest film Closed Curtain, will be heading up the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia’s Noves Visions section, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and strengthening its commitment to new fantastic genre narratives. Noves Visions is launching the new subsection Experimenta, dedicated to more radical works, including films like White Epilepsy, by Philippe Grandieux, a terrifying look at the body, and the controversial Escape from Tomorrow, by Randy Moore, plus The Taking, by Lydelle Jackson and Cezil Reed. The names Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway and Edgar Pêra will also be joining Experimenta with 3x3D, a reflection on 3D movies co-directed by these three filmmakers. With this restructuring of the section’s categories, Noves Visions celebrates its tenth anniversary with an excellent and extensive selection. 

This year Noves Visions will be dedicated to Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, victim of his country’s censorship, and will include the screening of his latest movie, Closed Curtain, a beautiful allegoric fantasy about contemporary Iran.

The section celebrates its tenth anniversary with a renovation. Starting this year, the Discovery category will be changing its name to Emergents. And the new Experimenta category will be created to highlight more radical works. 

Noves Visions - Fiction will be opening with the disturbing Love Eternal –an Irish production directed by Brendan Muldowny, the curious personal odyssey of a young man obsessed with death– and will include acclaimed names like Hong Sang-Soo (Nobody's Daughter Haewon), Sono Sion (Why Don't you Play in Hell?) or Peter Greenaway (Goltzius & The Pelican Company). Along with them, other directors and films of relevance in the current movie scene, like Denis Côté with Vic+Flo ont vu un ours, which competed in the Official Selection of the past Berlinale, or the Korean Jiseul, by Meul O., one of the big winners at the last Sundance festival. Also arriving from this festival is the peculiar zombie movie Halley, by Mexican Sebastian Hoffman, or the disturbing The Rambler, by Calvin Reeder, a work that’s close to David Lynch’s universes, with a phantasmagorical, unusual vision of the depths of America. Also landing from the United States are the highly applauded minimalist zombie comedy The Battery, by Jeremy Gardner, or the European premiere of the terrifying psycho-thriller Proxy, by Zack Parker, arriving from the Toronto festival, which promises to be one of the highlights at Sitges 2013 and one of the most innovative genre films of the year. Likewise, Nuevas Visiones-Fiction will be presenting some of this year’s most atypical French films, like Nos héros sont morts ce soir, by David Perrault, a film noir on the world of wrestling with a decadent, dreamlike structure, or the controversial Les rencontres d'après minuit, by Yann Gonzalez, a sexual comedy with science fiction overtones and with the outstanding presence of charismatic former soccer player Eric Cantona. 

The section’s documentary category, called No Ficció, will open with the powerful documentary Blackfish, by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, revolving around the aggressiveness of killer whales in captivity. Along with it, Peter Mettler’s reflective proposal in The End of Time, the new contribution to the paranormal thesis documentary by Richard Stanley in L'autre monde; or the brilliant found footage format parody by Bobcat Goldthwait in Willow Creek. On the other hand, American Jesus, by Catalan Aram Garriga, explores the stranger landscapes of radical American Christianity, in a Larry Fessenden production, whose uncut version will have its European premiere in this section. Noves Visions will also include documentaries that will deal with the subject of cinema on reflection, like Rewind This!, by Josh Johnson, that analyzes the cult and nostalgia around the home VHS format, or Milius, by Joey Figueroa and Zak Knutson, that explores the personality of one of Hollywood’s most atypical directors and screenwriters, the great John Milius.

The section’s category called Experimenta will present the most radical, daring genre works, like Escape from Tomorrow, by Randy Moore, the controversial film shot secretly at a Disney amusement park; White Epilepsy, the new work by Phillippe Grandieux, an experimental horror film about the body, possibly one of the most terrifying films we’ll see at Sitges 2013; and The Taking, by Lydelle Jackson and Cezil Reed, that blends torture porn, witchcraft and the living dead in a way never seen until now, practically doing without dialogue. And as a crowning jewel to this subsection we’ll have the essential three-part work 3x3D where none other than Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway and Edgar Pêra reflect on 3D cinema. 

Noves Visions is also the framework for presenting the best shorts by Catalan film school students. Under the SGAE – Nova Autoria hallmark, Noves Visions will screen a selection of these works, in the fiction, animation and documentary fields, that will be eligible for the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards in the categories of best screenplay, directing and music. 

Finally, the section’s Emergents category and short films (Noves Visions Petit Format), being linked to other Festival sections, will be announced, as well as the rest of the section’s films, along with the Festival’s complete line-up

Noves Visions was born in Sitges in 2003 with the goal of putting together a program searching for new formal and conceptual narrative channels in the fantastic genre, understood broadly and banking on productions with a clear auteurist and even experimental intent. So filmmakers like Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Yu Lik Wai, Katsuhito Ishii, Shinya Tsukamoto, Werner Herzog, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Ti West, Harmony Korine, Alain Resnais, Kim Ki-duk, Amat Escalante, Carlos Reygadas, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Bruce la Bruce, Catherine Breillat, Sono Sion or Apichatpong Weerasethakul, among many others, have accompanied their works through this section, that has grown in interest and gained spectators for daring, formal proposals year after year.

Photo 1: Closed Curtain
Photo 2: White Epilepsy
Photo 3: American Jesus

Sitges, 5 September 2013





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