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Sitges Film Festival 2014« volver

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The 47th Sitges Film Festival, to be held from 3 to 12 October, will be loaded with films that are all eagerly-awaited by fantastic and, especially, horror genre film lovers. That’s what Festival Director Àngel Sala announced yesterday during his conversation with fans at the Fàbrica Moritz Brewery in Barcelona. Sala revealed the names of a good handful of new films that will be included in Sitges 2014’s extensive lineup.

Supernatural horror will carry an important weight this year, with excellent examples of haunted house movies and others with sinister presences arriving from the other side of the planet, like Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound, from New Zealand; or the Australian The Babadook, by Jennifer Kent. Another genre example, Nicholas McCarthy’s Home, can also be seen at the Festival. Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal closes this quartet of films that will have moviegoers jumping out of their seats with their demonic apparitions.

But at Sitges 2014 there will also be room for films treating genre from a more comical, madcap viewpoint, as in the case of Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow 2, where the only survivor from part one will have to fight an even larger army of zombies. Two other good doses of zombies are also guaranteed with Goal of the Dead and Zombeavers, films offering unfeasible blends of zombies with soccer and beavers, respectively. The first is a dual movie (two 70 minute parts), directed by Benjamin Rocher and Thierry Poiraud; the second is based on the well-known premise of “group of young men & women, vacation, fun, alcohol and sex” that becomes a blood fest. And still in a comical tone, the Festival will be presenting Dan Beers’ Premature, the story of a high school student who has to re-live losing his virginity over and over again like a zany twist on Groundhog Day.

Added to the numerous Asian productions the Festival has already confirmed for this year is Live, from the director of Dead Sushi, Noboru Iguchi. A survival thriller based on a novel by Yusuke Yamada. Arriving from Germany is Der Samurai, a dark, ambiguous film that has been described as a queer thriller, directed by Till Kleinert and financed through crowdfunding. The last of our titles confirmed yesterday is The Curse of Downers Grove, a movie about the murders of a series of teens attributed to a bizarre curse, directed by Derick Martini and co-written by novelist Brett Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, the film version of which opened Sitges 2000.

Àngel Sala also revealed two documentaries that will be at this year’s Festival. The first is Doc of the Dead, a film that has been defined as “the definitive zombie culture documentary”. Directed by Alexander O. Philippe (The People Versus George Lucas and The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus) and including the participation of Alex Cox, Simon Pegg, George A. Romero or Steven Scholzman, this piece analyzes how the zombie phenomenon has been popularized in recent years in all kinds of different fields, like literature, series or even fashion. The second confirmed documentary is Elijah Drenner’s That Guy Dick Miller, dedicated to an aspiring writer turned accidental actor, and whose face everyone knows, whose name is known by few. Sharing the screen with leading figures like Nicholson, De Niro, Schwarzenegger or The Ramones, he has worked with great directors like Scorsese, Corman, Fuller, Dante, Cameron, Demme and many more.

And at Sitges 2014, there will be no shortage of classics either. The Festival has confirmed the screening of Sorcerer, William Friedkin’s 1977 movie, a remake of H.G Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear, (1953), starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, and Francisco Rabal.

These new Festival incorporations have been added to the lineup of an edition that will be opening with Jaume Balagueró’s REC 4, that will be presenting its Grand Honorary Award to Roland Emmerich and that will be including the presentations of the latest productions from important directors like Jean-Luc Godard, David Cronenberg, Kim-ki Duk and Takashi Miike.