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SITGES 2021

A firestorm of genre films engulfs Sitges

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- The 54th edition of the festival kicks off on 7 October, with a white-hot selection of 269 titles, standing out among which is a series paying tribute to Chicho Ibáñez Serrador

A firestorm of genre films engulfs Sitges
Historias para no dormir: El doble by Rodrigo Sorogoyen

At its 54th edition, the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is presenting a white-hot programme consisting of 269 works, which will be on show from 7-17 October. The latest Spanish genre productions will get an airing at Sitges, including those by established directors such as Álex de la Iglesia (with Veneciafrenia [+see also:
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) and Paco Plaza (with The Grandmother [+see also:
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interview: Paco Plaza
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]
), as well as by other flagbearers from the country’s recent fantastical scene, like Historias para no dormir [+see also:
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]
, the return of the legendary series originally created by Chicho Ibáñez Serrador some 50 years ago, this time directed by Paco Plaza himself, Rodrigo Cortés, Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Paula Ortiz (see the news).

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The debut feature by Catalonian director David CasademuntEl páramo, will also enjoy its world premiere in the Official Fantastic Competition Section: toplined by Inma Cuesta and Roberto Álamo, it tells of the quiet life of a family who live cut off from society and who are visited by a terrifying creature that will put the ties that bind them to the ultimate test. Also included on the programme, as a special session, is the epic Everyone Will Burn, the second feature by David Hebrero, a saga about a mother’s quest for vengeance against the town that caused her to lose her son (see the news).

Other Spanish movies in the Official Fantastic Competition Section include the unsettling flick Out of Sync [+see also:
film review
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interview: Juanjo Giménez
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]
by Juanjo Giménez, starring Marta Nieto, and the world premiere of Visitor [+see also:
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]
, the feature debut by Alberto Evangelio, starring Iria de Rio, Miquel Fernández, Jan Cornet and Sandra Cervera, about a marital crisis that turns into a fantastical thriller revolving around parallel realities. The Panorama Fantàstic strand will host two world premieres of Spanish films: the Galician movie Jacinto by Javi Camino, about a boy trapped in an adult’s body, and the horrifying road movie The Passenger [+see also:
trailer
interview: Raúl Cerezo and Fernando Go…
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]
 by Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González.

This edition of the festival will also be showing off the totally bonkers Titane [+see also:
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interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
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]
: its director, Julia Ducournau, paid a visit to the gathering back in 2016 with Raw [+see also:
film review
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interview: Julia Ducournau
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]
, which was crowned with three prizes. Norway’s Tommy Wirkola, the man behind Dead Snow [+see also:
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]
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters [+see also:
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]
and What Happened to Monday? [+see also:
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]
, is back with The Trip, a black comedy about a crisis-riddled married couple who decide to get away for a weekend in a cabin in the woods, hoping for a chance to start from scratch… just as soon as the other spouse is dead.

Away from the main core of the festival, there will be thematic offshoots and focuses on the means of expression in genre film, including new styles and mythologies stemming from more popular ones (such as in In the Earth [+see also:
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]
) and nightmarish visions of motherhood (Son [+see also:
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]
Lamb [+see also:
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interview: Valdimar Jóhannsson
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]
). Meanwhile, invoking the past or the mundanity of the day-to-day can lead to the breakdown of one’s inner circle (in She Will [+see also:
film review
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interview: Charlotte Colbert
film profile
]
Inexorable [+see also:
film review
interview: Fabrice Du Welz
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]
Silent Night, New Zealand’s Coming Home in the Dark and Canada’s Violation), and other titles visualise reality under the scourge of the pandemic, either directly or allegorically (The Feast [+see also:
film review
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]
and the USA’s We Need to Do Something). On the other hand, while touring this year’s Official Section, we find variations on classical themes, such as childhood evil in The Innocents [+see also:
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interview: Eskil Vogt
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]
, cursed abodes in The Deep House [+see also:
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]
, teenage angst in the US title Seance, cannibalism in Barbaque, lycanthropy in Eight for Silver [+see also:
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]
, the classic slasher in Halloween Kills, and giallo in the aforementioned Veneciafrenia.

Information on all of the festival’s titles (which a single article would be insufficient to cover) and sections can be found on its website.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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