VIDEO. The festival of Sitges, 50 years: The cinema of the Spanish style to conquer the world

“REC” by Jaume Balaguero, one of the worthy representatives of the genre in Spanish — Wild Side

From 5 to 15 October, the Spanish city of Sitges hosted the international film Festival of Catalonia, a festival entirely devoted to fantastic cinema, horror movies, science fiction and gender. Fifty years as it lasts, which is two times more than its French equivalents of The Strange Festival or Gérardmer. Sitges is experiencing a longevity and a radiance worthy of a Venice international film Festival or Berlinale.

Also read : do You hate horror movies? The Strange Festival is for you!

A festival on a global scale, but human-sized

Of passage at the last, it is a Strange Festival for a white card, Jaume Balagueró, director of [REC], confirm : “Sitges is very important for the country, but also for the rest of the world. He launched the careers of many films and filmmakers. I presented my first short film, and then almost all my films. The festival is huge, but it has managed to keep a human scale, a sense of camaraderie. Spectators, actors, directors, mingle and share their love for the same movie. Unthinkable in other festivals of international stature. “Thanks to Stiges, Álex de la Iglesia was able to travel his films, Brussels
BIFFF) in Montreal (
Fantasia) by way of Korea, and of course France. It showed its last film trapped (available on VOD, DVD and on Netflix), it is a Strange Festival, who took the opportunity to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Sitges
with special programming.

Recipes and rewards

But Sitges is only the tip of the iceberg, a manifestation of the importance, and the consideration of genre cinema in Spain. In effect, the opposite of France, a fantastic film Spanish can both earn income and rewards. In 2007, The Orphanage remained several weeks in the lead at the box office, before picking up seven Goyas, the equivalent of the Césars in France and at the Oscars in the United States. Ten years earlier,
Álex de la Iglesia received the best director for The Day of the Beast. He will preside over even the Academy Goyas for two years.

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A long tradition of movies

Spain has in fact a long tradition of fantasy films, which dates back to the 60’s and directors such as Paul Naschy,
León Klimovsky , and of course Jesús Franco, responsible for The Horrible Dr. Orloff, Countess perverse, or Exorcisms and black masses. “Bis films,” explains Jaume Balagueró, not always very good but who paid happily in horror. “Álex de la Iglesia states that already before,” you had comedies black, not necessarily fantastic, yet bizarre, deviant and terrifying in their own way. “He cites the filmmakers José María Forqué, Luis García Berlanga or Italian
Marco Ferreri , who began his career in Spain.

Venice film festival 2017: golden Lion for “The Shape of Water” by Guillermo del Toro

Why them and not us ?

The success of the cinema of the Spanish style is seen with envy from this side of the Pyrenees. Why them and not us ? Why [REC] is more than 500,000 entries in French cinemas, while the productions
French Fright struggle to exceed 50,000. Several explanations have been advanced : the language (the actors speak in French, it is no longer believed), the New Wave and the tradition of film intellectuals, ” important “, but also a matter of catharsis. In effect, Spain would be still marked by the violence of its recent history, the civil war, the franco regime. “In my case, it is true,” says Álex de la Iglesia. My film Balada triste evokes the Spanish civil war, the terrorism, the daily, the violence of which I was a witness to 8 years in Bilbao. “

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If Spain prefers today’s thrillers, the rest of the world, he swears by its filmmakers of the genre, the guys from the country that they were born or have lived. While the Argentine Andrés Muschietti explodes the box-office world with It, Juan Antonio Bayona ends
the filming of Jurassic World 2 and the Mexican Guillermo del Toro won
the golden Lion in Venice for The Form of water, February 21, in the rooms… French.

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