Sergi López returns to the Festival to present the fantastic fable ‘Happy as Lazzaro'
Once again, the always surprising Asian production has had a relevant and significant presence at the Sitges Film Festival. Today, Wednesday, six movies from this continent were screened. Six interesting projects arriving from South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. In addition, the Brazilian film Morto ñao fala (The Nightshifter) caused a huge impact at its presentation in the Official Selection. And while Sitges 2018 seduced an audience thirsty for the most varied forms of fantastic, the organization is already working on next year’s Festival. Ángel Sala announced that the Sitges 2019 leitmotiv will be Heart of Darkness.
Today the Sitges Festival had a clearly oriental flavor. Screened in the Official Selection was Burning, the Korean thriller shrouded in mystery and existentialism shot by Lee Chang-dong, who adapts a story by Haruki Murakami. Also from Korea and belonging to the thriller genre we saw the presentation of Believer, the remake that Lee Hae-young made of Drag War, the cult film directed by Johnnie To. In addition, the Hong Kong filmmaker was featured in the Seven Chances, Section with the restored version of one of his favorite films, Throw Down. Philippines was also one of today’s features with the screening of the thrillers Bamboo Dogs by the always interesting Khvan, and BuyBust, directed by an old Festival friend, Erik Matti. The Japanese movie Fonotune: An Electric Fairytale was the crowning moment of the Asian day. A stylized pop experiment, which shows the journey of a series of lonely souls in a post-apocalyptic world, united by the desire to go to a concert by an enigmatic star, played by Seiji, member of the punk garage group Guitar Wolf and hero of the Japanese underground, who presented the film at a jam-packed screening at the Prado theater.
Sitges also welcomed a good friend, Sergi López, who has always had a very special relationship with the Festival since he presented his first collaboration with French filmmaker Manuel Poirier twenty years ago in Western. Winner of a Cesar and an EFA award, and with five Gaudí and three Goya nominations, Sergi López came to the Festival to present the marvelous Italian film Happy as Lazzaro, which was very warmly received at its screening by press and public. A fable related to magical neorealism where the visions of Vittorio de Sicca, Luís Buñuel and Federico Fellini all come together.
Meanwhile, Latin American filmmaking continued its parade through the Festival’s Official Selection with the screening of Morto ñao fala (The Nightshifter), the debut movie by Brazilian director Dennison Ramalho, who fans will recall as the screenwriter for José Mojica Marins’ Encarnação do Demônio (Embodiment of Evil).
And when there are still four Festival days left, Ángel Sala and his team are already piloting the 2019 ship. From 2001, we will be making a leap to Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad’s legendary novel. This was announced by the Festival Director at a meeting with media outlets, where he pointed out that the main reference for the next Festival will be Mad Max,as well as other titles from 1979, like Alien, Apocalypse Now and The Warriors or from 1999, like Eyes Wide Shut.