Seven Chances proposes a rendezvous with the hidden history and the future of fantastic genre
This section that Sitges programs in collaboration with the ACCEC will be presenting the Spanish premiere of 'Host', one of this season's hottest sensations
The Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia and the Asociación de la Crítica y la Escritura Cinematográfica/Association of Film Critics and Writers (ACCEC) continue to explore the fringes and dark corners of fantastic genre in Seven Chances, the section they program together. This year's selection once again brings together unusual rarities, restored cult films and documentaries, at screenings presented by members of the Association.
If last year this section unearthed a long-lost film by Jesús Franco, this time it will be recovering another essential name in Spanish "fantaterror": Jacinto Molina aka Paul Naschy, whose newly restored version of El huerto del francés/The Frenchman's Garden(1978), one of his lesser-known films, and which the director considered to be his best movies, will be presented. Starring María José Cantudo, Agata Lys and Naschy himself, the film departs from the customary guidelines of his work to explore an obscure episode of the dark side of rural Spain in the 19th century.
Likewise, we couldn't forget the passing of spaghetti western specialist Rafael Romero Marchent last February. This Madrid-born filmmaker, who usually worked alongside his brother Joaquín, developed a career characterized by dusty, violent and often amoral films, which are still little known in Spain today. Seven Chances will be presenting Awkward Hands, a story of revenge that features among its cast Manuel de Blas, winner of this year's Nosferatu Award at the Festival.
Added to these tributes will be the remembrance of José Mojica Marins, who passed away just a few months ago. The Festival will be presenting the iconic and unsettling At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul(1964), the letter of introduction of his alter ego, the perverse Coffin Joe, and the founding act of Brazilian horror cinema. Another film in this section, Viy (1967), directed by Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov and adapted from Nikolai Gogol, was also an absolute trailblazer and is considered the first horror film produced in the Soviet Union.
The ultimate trash pleasure will be provided by Spookies (Eugenie Joseph, Thomas Doran and Brendan Faulkner, 1986), a video store legend and a madcap festival of handcrafted FX, which will be shown in all its glory thanks to the film's restoration done by Vinegar Syndrome. Spookies is a true rarity among late eighties American independent horror movies.
Besides offering an alternative canon to the official history of genre, Seven Chances' critical framework will also enable a dialogue on the new forms of fantasy. The section will welcome the Spanish premiere of Rob Savage's Host, one of the season's most talked about and eagerly awaited horror films: shot in the middle of the lockdown and with separated technical and artistic crews, the film has the form of a video call during which a group of friends hold a séance, with hair-raising consequences. The characteristics of its ingenious mise en scène will be the starting point of the debate in which several ACCEC members will analyze the new formal expressions in fantastic genre, and what effects Covid-19 can have on its thematic and visual motifs.
Finally, Seven Chances will bring us closer to the complex and multi-faceted personality of Japanese genius Takeshi Kitano thanks to Citizen K, the revealing documentary dedicated to him by Yves Montmayeur, which will have its world premiere in Sitges.
Seven Chances: seven films. Seven occasions to approach the forgotten past and the questions of the future of fantastic films with a critical eye.
Seven Chances 2020 Selection
El huerto del francés/The Frenchman’s Garden (Jacinto Molina, 1978), presented by María Adell.
Awkward Hands (Rafael Romero Marchent, 1970), presented by Alejandro G. Calvo.
Host (Rob Savage, 2020), presented by Daniel Pérez Pamies and with a subsequent debate by Marla Jacarilla, Javier Parra and Aaron Cabañas.
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul(José Mojica Marins, 1964), presented by Albert Elduque.
Viy (Konstantin Yershov, Georgi Kropachyov1967), presented by Ignasi Franch.
Citizen K (Yves Montmayeur, 2020), presented by Mariona Borrull.
Spookies (Eugenie Joseph, Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner, 1986), presented by Albert Galera.