MotelX 2020: Lisbon Genre Festival Returns This September With Live Events
It feels good to write about film festivals and have something to say other than, "The whole world is fucked! We're heading to the hills! See you in 2021! We think".
As some regions of the world emerge from the first wave of the pandemic they're trying to return to their regularly scheduled programming. Our friends at MotelX in Lisbon, Portugal, are one of the few fortunate festivals who will be able to host a live event this year. Some changes will have to be made but the festival is doing what it can to host a live event this year.
Hard to believe that September really is just around the corner, the longest corner in history, but they are busy prepping for a week long festival at the beginning of the month. After three days of open-air warm up events the program will kick in at Lisbon’s Cinema São Jorge from September 7th through 14th.
Spurred on by current events and the civil unrest with our neighbours to the south the festival has created the program American Nightmare: Racism and Horror Cinema. The restrospective program will include The Intruder (1962), Ganja & Hess (1973), White Dog (1982), The People Under the Stairs (1991), Candyman (1992), Tales from the Hood (1995) and Get Out (2017).
Celebrated Portuguese director Pedro Costa will speak about his films and the festival will have screenings of Ne Change Rien/Change Nothing (2009) and Horse Money (2014).
Women in Horror will also take center stage at this year's festival with Rose Glass' Saint Maud, Relic from Natalie Erika James, and Sandra Wollner’s The Trouble with Being Born.
Leading the doc selection this year is Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street from Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen.
One other thing that MotelX does really, really well is host classy cultural events. Look, I like to slum it along with the rest of you, but I will also put on a good shirt and tie from time to time and rub elbows with the upper crust when possible. At lest pretend to. Something like the events that MotelX hosts would scratch that itch.
The full announcement of this year's lineup is coming soon. Check out their promo trailer below.
MOTELX returns in September with two extra daysWith enhanced health and safety measures yet the same DNA, MOTELX returns to Lisbon’s Cinema São Jorge between 7 and 14 September, after 3 days of open-air Warm-Up events. The 14th edition of the Lisbon International Horror Film Festival approaches an atypical 2020 with a special programme on racism and the horror genre, films by Pedro Costa, a record number of films directed by women and many suggestions for 8 days of collective catharsis.MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival announced today the first highlights of its 14th edition, which will take place in Cinema São Jorge between the 7th and 14th of September. Following the advice of public health authorities, MOTELX’s screenings will have reduced capacity and longer intervals in between, and as such two extra days are announced to allow the public to enjoy the Festival with maximum comfort and safety.In a year that unfortunately resembles a genre film, and in which George Floyd’s death angered the world, MOTELX presents the special programme “American Nightmare: Racism and Horror Cinema”, a selection of 7 films in the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement that propose a revised account of history. These are "The Intruder” (Roger Corman, 1962), ), “Ganja & Hess” (Bill Gunn, 1973), “White Dog” (Samuel Fuller, 1982), “The People Under the Stairs” (Wes Craven, 1991), “Candyman” (Bernard Rose, 1992), “Tales from the Hood” (Rusty Cundieff, 1995) and “Get Out” (Jordan Peele, 2017).2020 is also the year of Pedro Costa at MOTELX, marking a new chapter in a history that dates back to 2005, when CTLX (MOTELX’s organizer) programmed “Bones” in a cycle for the Portuguese Cinematheque that would lead to the creation of the Festival. The most acclaimed living Portuguese director will talk about his affinity with genre films as a guest of the Lost Room section, and there will be the opportunity to revisit “Ne Change Rien” (2009) and “Horse Money” (2014).The new wave of female horror leads the premieres in the Room Service section, which will show a record number of films directed by women (5 announced now, with more to come). Among the highlights announced are “Saint Maud” by Rose Glass, from A24 studios, “Relic”, the acclaimed film debut by writer Natalie Erika James, and Sandra Wollner’s “The Trouble with Being Born”, a self-described “antithesis to Pinocchio” that garnered controversy at the last Berlinale.The Room Service section also brings the return of the prolific Takashi Miike with his reportedly 104th film. Premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, “First Love” blends drugs, blood, gore, romance and dark humour, and marks the return to the hyperbolic style that made him a festival favourite. In the Doc Terror section, the first title announced is “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street”, an account of Mark Patton’s role as the first male Scream Queen in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”, now considered an LGBT cult classic.And since horror movies are a place of freedom and risk, in 2020 MOTELX presents for the first time a programme of Experimental Shorts, dedicated to alternative narratives that use revolutionary techniques to create otherworldly nightmares. In the domain of more traditional fiction, 20 shorts make up this year selection of International Shorts, which continues to showcase projects in subgenres as varied as sci-fi, period drama and satire.The competitive sections of MOTELX also make a return. The MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short Film/Méliès d’Argent continues to encourage the national production of genre cinema with the biggest monetary prize awarded to short films in Portugal, €5,000, and a nomination to the Méliès International Festivals Federation’s Méliès d’Or. In light of the disruption caused by the current pandemic, this year the deadline for submissions has been extended to 2 August. Finalists will be announced next month, as will the films selected for the MOTELX Award for Best European Feature/ Méliès d’Argent and many other Festival highlights.Warm-Up EventsAfter an unforgettable midnight visit to Portugal’s Ancient Art Museum in 2019, MOTELX once again delivers unique and improbable artistic encounters during the Warm-Up weekend that precedes the Festival, bringing together major names of the Portuguese arts in three open-air events with free entrance.On 3 September, the Convent of São Pedro de Alcântara hosts “The Woman Without a Head”, a concert performance inspired by a text by Gonçalo M. Tavares, voiced by MC Papillon and with live illustrations by António Jorge Gonçalves. The following evening, Espaço Brotéria hosts a staged dinner based on Fernando Pessoa’s “A Very Original Dinner”, a work by the great Portuguese poet that is largely unknown by the public. The project will recreate Pessoa’s darkest side and will have the artistic supervision of acclaimed actor Albano Jerónimo, with staging by young students Matilde Carvalho and Rita Poças. The popular open-air screening at Largo Trindade Coelho will bring MOTELX’s Warm-Up to a close on 5 September (film to be announced shortly).