We have today a classic of this blog and of our October: a recap of our days at the Sitges Film Festival!
Although we don’t talk about movies so much in this blog, you must know that if we are not at home, big chances are that you will find us in a movie theater. Sitges is a film festival specialized in fantastic, sci-fi, thriller and horror movies (similar to Fantasia in Montreal, hi Mariko!) that takes place during mid-October in a cute coastal town 30 minutes away from Barcelona.
We started attending the Festival even before our first official date, so more than 16 years ago! and have converted it in our little ritual to not miss a single edition until this year’s 50th anniversary. We have friends also attending it which is always fun and it becomes a game to identify fellow Sitges fans one year to the other. The festival always brings directors and actors and have been able to listen to speeches by big names like Susan Sarandon, Emma Stone, Park Chan Wook, J.A Bayona, Darren Aronofsky or Viggo Mortensen (among hundreds of others).
For this year we selected 7 films in 3 days, as always we leave enough gaps to allow us enjoy the sunny town itself. Want to follow us around Sitges?
- A Ghost Story: No doubts the weirdest but probably one of the most interesting movies of this year’s Sitges. The plot is quite simple, Casey Affleck dies in an accident and keeps living (as a ghost) in the house shared with Rooney Mara after the incident. The movie is displayed in an square format, and with a (super) slow rhythm (almost no dialogues), yet the ghost under the sheet is able to exude intensity & feeling.
- Okja: We had the opportunity to watch in a big screen the newest Bong Joon Ho movie produced by Netflix and with an American cast. Have you watched it too? I love his movies and this is not an exception, it has a weird tone too near to a kids movie (the kitschy devious company & the heroine kiddo) but I was sold nonetheless. I think it’s because I was fascinated with the Animal Liberation front.
- Marjorie Prime: In a future (quite similar to our present) in order to keep elderly company, people can buy holograms of a diseased member from your family. It’s the same plot as a Black Mirror episode, which is indeed super interesting, but in a 1h and 30 minute long movie with characters only talking to each other it can get a little boring. However, having Don Draper as the hologram doesn’t hurt.
- Wind River: One of my favorite movies from last year was Hell or High Water, this one has its writer as director and shares a very similar tone changing the desert for a frozen environment Fargo-like. A professional hunter helps an FBI agent from Florida to find the killer of a girl found in the snow. This was my second favorite movie in Sitges & definitely recommend you to take a look.
- Dave Made a Maze: It was maybe the poorest one from our selection. It’s a comedy inspired on Michael Gondry and Charlie Kaufman movies, where the main character called Dave decides to build a labyrinth made out of cardboard while his girlfriend is out of town. He gets lost inside and his friends and girl enter to save him.
- The Shape of Water: The winner of the last Venice film Festival and the premiere at Sitges totally stole our hearts. An Amelie-like story with a sweet cleaning girl from a secret governmental lab discovering a marine monster captured for testing purposes. It’s also a homage to all the director’s cinema imaginario.
- Survival Family: Our only Japanese flick of this edition was a delightful surprise for us! The plot is around a family trying to survive after a blackout. I liked how while an American (or European) movie would show chaos, robbery and even people killing each other, this is nothing like it, instead shows how Japanese people are a love. Just a little spoiler as an example: the main character keeps going to his job office during a whole week!
That’s all folks! :)
See you next time Sitges, we certainly love visiting you at least once a year and being able to enjoy such a wonderful Film Festival. If you ever want to attend the movie festival, let us know and we’ll go together!