As our North American contingent of writers prepare to descend on Austin, Texas this weekend in a wave of drunken debauchery our more sophisticated brethren and sister over in Europe are preparing for the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia in the beginning of October. Beer will be replaced by fine wines and the barbecue by savoury cheeses and truffles. Yes, the Catalan coast can turn even the most hardened and blood thirsty genre film lover into a cultured cinephile.
The complete list of films playing at
this year's festival have been revealed at the official site and as
always it is a doozie of a lineup. You will find the full list of all
the films here and the press release goes over some of the many
highlights this year.
On the home front we should add that we are pleased as punch that one of our own also has a short film playing at this year's festival. Swarez's film Undying Love is part of the shorts program and we could not be happier for him. Seriously. We can't. The rules forbid it.
Sitges 2012: the definitive line-up
The Festival presents prestigious filmmakers and up-and-coming new talents in a renewed commitment to fantastic cinema
The annual rendezvous for fantastic film lovers, the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, is almost here and its line-up is ready. The Festival, to be held from the 4th to the 14th of October, has closed a wide-ranging list of movies with a renewed commitment to the genre that identifies it and which, this year, arrives with the shadow of the end of the world threatening us from its poster. The new conceptual and formal ways of conjugating the fantastic universe are the common denominator of the final selection, where peculiar ways of tackling horror or science fiction are emphasized, like found footage, an aesthetic and conceptual tendency that will be seen in films like V/H/S, Area 407 or The Bay, all three present in different sections of the Festival.
Among the novelties at this year's Festival, which will open with the world premiere of the Catalan production The Body -by debut director Oriol Paulo and starring José Coronado, Belén Rueda and Hugo Silva- is the outstanding European premiere of Looper, the Festival's closing film, with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the leads in a futuristic thriller wherea group of hit men travel in time. Directed by Rian Johnson (winner of the award for best debut director in Sitges for Brick), the movie opened the most recent Toronto film festival making a spectacular impact on critics and spectators. Two other movies that were also big hits at the Canadian festival will have their European premiere this year in Sitges, Martín McDonagh's Seven Psycopaths (starring Colín Farrell and Christopher Walken) or Eli Roth's production Aftershock, directed by the Chilean Nicolás López.
The restored version of the Steven Spielberg classic, E.T., is yet another must see film at Sitges 2012, and will be shown at the Phenomena screening on Sunday October 7th, celebrating both Universal's 100 year anniversary and 30 years since the premiere of the popular odyssey of the alien lost on planet Earth. Tim Burton's universe will be arriving at the Festival on Wednesday October 10th with the screening of his latest film, Frankenweenie, in a premiere that will be screened almost simultaneously with the European premiere that will be taking place in London. It is a moving story of friendship between a boy and his dog, made using the stop-motion (frame by frame) animation technique and in 3D. Another cult director, the metal musician cum director Rob Zombie, will be presenting his latest creation, The Lords of Salem, an oneiric film full of nightmares and hallucinations. Antiviral, Brandon Cronenberg's debut, recent winner of the award for best Canadian first feature film at the Toronto Festival, will also be a part of Sitges 2012's line-up. The young filmmaker will be sharing in the Festival with another Sitges lover, his father David with his eagerly-awaited Cosmópolis.
Other filmmakers with a solid career, like Kim Ki-Duk -brilliant winner of the Golden Lion Award in Venice with Pietà, that we will see at the Festival-, Takeshi Kitano, Alain Resnais, Takashi Miike or Dario Argento make up a team of directors who will be screening their latest productions at the Festival. Sitges will also be presenting works by new genre talents like Rodney Ascher,Ben Wheatley, Pascal Laugier, Colin Trevorrow or Jennifer Lynch.
Catalan and Spanish productions will also have a prominent role at Sitges 2012. Twelve films, nine of which are Catalan, will be on the official lineup, including, besides The Body, other premieres like Insensibles (Juan Carlos Medina), El Bosc (Òscar Aibar), Animals (Marçal Forés), Lo imposible (J. A. Bayona), Dancing Dogs (Anna Nemyrovych), El peix Sebastiano (Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca) or Vida en sombras (Lorenzo Llobet-Gràcia).
You can check the list of movies and the program (subject to necessary last-minute changes) at: www.sitgesfilmfestival.com. Tickets will go on sale over the next few days through Catalunya Caixa's Telentrada service.