Sitges reaches its halfway point with the Norwegian horror of 'The Innocents'
Once again today, Spanish national cinema takes center stage with the presentation of the horror and suspense label 'The Fear Collection', promoted by Álex de la Iglesia
Sitges 2021 reaches the Festival's halfway point with a wealth of scenes that are already part of the Festival's collective moviegoers' memory, from the sparkle in Belén Rueda's eyes when she received this year's Grand Honorary Award to the birth of a mysterious lamb in the arms of Noomi Rapace in the highly acclaimed Lamb. But there's more to come. More guests. More photocalls. More red carpet appearances. More unforgettable sequences. More cinema. More fantastic genre.
Today, Tuesday, director Juanjo Giménez presented the surprising Tres (Out of Sync) at a press conference, accompanied by actress Marta Nieto, actor Miki Esparbé, screenwriter Pedro Altimira and producer Luisa Romeo. The film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it received enthusiastic reviews, presents a disturbing device through which a sound engineer starts to hear the sounds around her out of sync, a few seconds later than the images. Regarding the origin of the film, the director explained that for him "life has a soundtrack and I'm very passionate about sound." As for genre, he also added: "I feel very much at home in the fantastic genre and my next feature film will be fantastic as well." Meanwhile, the leading actress in this fascinating story commented that "it's the most difficult role I've ever played."
Today was also the turn for one of the big surprise films of 2021, the Norwegian The Innocents, a suspense and horror film that presents a disturbing scenario (reminiscent of Tom Shankland's The Children) where a group of young children reveal mysterious powers when the adults aren't around. Its director, Eskil Vogt, appeared at a press conference where he commented that "it's a film about childhood and the lack of communication between parents and children." And he added: “I wanted to talk about childhood and everything that takes place in the imagination, but when I started to remember, I realized all the horrible things that I had forgotten, things that really frightened me when I was a boy."
Later on, Spanish fantastic genre cinema once again returned to the front line for the presentation of The Fear Collection label by Alex de la Iglesia, Carolina Bang, Jaume Balagueró and a special guest, actress Ester Expósito. The brand refers to an anthology of films focused on horror and suspense that will arrive under the umbrella of Pokeepsie Films, the production company headed by the director of Veneciafrenia (the first of the label's releases), along with Sony Pictures and a partnership with Amazon Prime Video. At its presentation, Alex de la Iglesia commented that the project "will be horror, there will be blood and monsters. We want it to have an identity. It will be a space that I would like to remind us of Hammer's films, we want to recapture the carefree and free spirit of 70's movies." Meanwhile, Jaume Balagueró explained that he will direct the second installment of the anthology, which will be called Venus and that "it will be an adaptation of The Dreams in the Witch House, a story by Lovecraft. Directing a film is always a big responsibility, but this one is even more so. I love getting into mischief. There's nothing that could make me happier than to premiere a film here that is inordinately Sitges, because it's nasty and violent."
Among the featured films in today's Official Selection is the Irish production Son, by Ivan Kavanagh, the story of a mother willing to do anything for her son when strange forces, related to her past, begin to haunt him. Also screened was the return of the creator of the Sitges 2013 Critics' Choice Award winner The Congress, Ari Folman, who directed Where is Anne Frank?, a didactic animated film that revives the memory of the young victim of the Holocaust. In a completely different register, Fabrice Éboué's Barbaque(Some Like it Rare) was also presented, a film that opts for black humor in a screenplay that's not suitable for vegans. As for Seven Chances, Jacinto Molina's Howl of the Devil, a film recovered from 1987, where a retired actor with sadistic tendencies turns his dead brother's mansion into a constant orgy of sex and torture, was screened. Brigadoon also recovered a work from the 80's, in this case Patrick Kong's Curse, which is included in the Black Magic cycle.
In the afternoon, as part of the industry activities, representatives from the Movistar+ Paraíso team arrived in Sitges to participate in a talk on the creation of the series' universe with the presence of director Fernando González Molina, actresses Macarena Garcia and Begoña Vargas, actor Álvaro Mel and director of photography, Elías M. Félix. Another of the day's highlights was undoubtedly the live Marea Nocturna hosted by critic Desirée de Fez accompanied by regulars Ángel Sala, Jordi Sánchez-Navarro and Xavi Sánchez-Pons. Today's installment dedicated to the slasher featured the surprise collaboration of director Paco Plaza, screenwriter Elio Quiroga and actor and director, as well as Brigadoon Jury member at this Sitges 2021, Raúl Arévalo. But apart from this, the day was full of important industry events like the Cineasia presentation by Glòria Fernández and Enrique Garcelán, directors, and Víctor Muñoz, Community Manager.