Watching the Shape of Water at Sitges Film Festival 2017

Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us

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?

Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us

‘The shape of water’ was the premiere of the festival and Guillermo del Toro (its director) was this year’s patron.

Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us Melià Sitges Film Festival - The cat, you and us

This year motto was Dracula, I found this vinyl in the main venue so clever!

Guillermo del Toro Sitges Film Festival - The cat, you and us

Guillermo! He was all the time surrounded by fans, ha! still he was very charming with everyone. Do you notice a man dressed as Dracula waiting to ask for an autograph? ha! I really love Sitges for that

Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us
  • 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!
Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us

Every year the Film Festival creates an ad, this year for the 50 anniversary they invited fans of the Festival to participate in the ad.

Sitges Film Festival 2017 - The cat, you and us
Sitges coastal town - The cat, you and us
Sitges coastal town - The cat, you and us
Sitges coastal town - The cat, you and us Palau Maricel Sitges - The cat, you and us Palau Maricel Sitges - The cat, you and us Sitges Film Festival 2017 Zombies - The cat, you and us

A zombie walk takes place during the first weekend, so it’s quite natural to find zombies among regular Sitges inhabitants, ha!

Big Al's Sitges - The cat, you and us Big Al's Sitges - The cat, you and us

We discovered a new (to us) burger place in Sitges, I love how they joined the Film Festival game by having a Zombie Burger made out of “worms and brains”.

Big Al's Sitges Zombie Burger - The cat, you and us Sitges coastal town - The cat, you and us

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!

12 Comments / 5 

  1. Nieves - 23rd October 2017

    Las maravillosas fotos, realzan la categoría qué tiene el festival de Sitges. Me gusta la foto en la que miras el bonito cartel, de la película ‘ la forma del agua’ me ha encantado qué hayáis podido hacerle una foto a Guillermo del Toro. En fin qué es un placer, aunque sea en la distancia de todo esto.

  2. Jennifer - 23rd October 2017

    Sounds like that Japanese movie is more realistic than American ones XD I remember my friend had to go back to work after hurricane sandy, even though her power took nearly a month to come back on! Granted, it took a week or two after the storm before her work opened up again.

    I am excited to EVENTUALLY watch Okja. I hear a lot of people saying it is a “vegan” movie, or rather has a vegan message. I like the director, so it is a winning combo! I’m just lazy and haven’t made the time for myself.

    • We reply...

      Glad (& reassuring) to know that reality is more similar to Japanese movies. Hope everything was good with your friend, so crazy that it took 1 month to go back? How did they manage? Hope you will soon watch Okja and let us know if you liked it! Hugs

  3. Lizzie Bee - 24th October 2017

    Ah this sounds so amazing! I’d love to go to a film festival one day and have been really intrigued by Shape of Water ever since I saw the film poster floating around on twitter. It’s a shame the labyrinth one wasn’t that great, as it sounds quite funny! Okja was a great movie too but I was so sad at the end…

    • We reply...

      Agree, Okja was incredibly sad at the end, I don’t want to spoil too much if someone else is reading, but the scream was so hurtful, right? Definitely recommend checking The Shape of water out once it’s available <3

  4. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's - 24th October 2017

    What a lovely tradition! :’) // zombie walk omg haha so cool! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • We reply...

      I think it’s my favorite when you stumble upon on the streets of Sitges with all the zombies & dressed-up people :) Hope you are having a lovely season Audrey!

  5. Fiona - 25th October 2017

    So fun! I just came back from the movie myself, a doco about my favourite artists Brett Whiteley – came home and looked in the mirror and saw I had some bad mascara smudges from crying! oops! I love movies especially because they can transport you out of your own word and give you a new perspective :)

    • We reply...

      So true & great written Fee! I will check more of Brett Whiteley’s work now! :)

  6. Albert - 27th October 2017

    Yep! No vam coincidir aquest any… Jo crec que si m’hagués de quedar amb alguna, seria Survival Family, tota una sorpresa! La resta bé, Wind River, ho esperat, ben feta i contundent. Okja ja l’havia vist a Netflix, m’agrada molt (per cert, és de Bong Joon-ho ;-)), i The Shape of Water, no crec que es pugui afegir res al que ja s’ha dit per tot arreu, s’ha de veure!

    • We reply...

      Em va estranyar molt no coincidir! Però amb l’Anna tampoc a cap, i no vam veure ni en Jaume, ni en Carlos, ni en Marcel, ni la del cabell de colors tot molt estrany :) Osti quina pifia! oi tant! Merci! era Bong Jon Hoo i jo tan convençuda que ni vaig fer doble-check ;) com que el tio al final es va escaquejar i no va venir al Q&A… :( Merci per posar-hi també la teva! Amb quina et quedaries de les que no vam veure nosaltres?

  7. Albert - 27th October 2017

    El Carlos estava al Japó el perro… Doncs en general van estar bé però si hagués d’escollir unes: The Endles, A day. Altres interessants: Lu over the Wall, Doghs, Brawl in cell block, Before We Vanish i What Happened To Monday.

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