39th Sitges Film Festival. 06/10/06 – 15/10/06
It’s official. Our fourth visit on the spin now means that the heading “OCTOBER” can be permanently scratched from our diary and replaced with “SITGES”. Hell! It can replace the six months prior to the festival too as work, women and pretty much everything else (o.k, not football) take a back seat once festival news starts surfacing. We hardly had time to drop our bags at the hotel Subur before heading back out onto the fantasy filled streets of Sitges to enter the fray.
After two successive years of strong Korean form we wondered whether Asia would again dominate our festival or would Sitges throw up yet more surprises from quarters new. The programme brimmed with pretenders to the throne with films from Spain, France, Blighty, America, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and more. Even Kazakhstan got a look in.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the BLUE VELVET premiere this year tribute was paid to the work of David Lynch. Not an entirely surprising choice for a festival ever-ready to embrace the weird but, as a personal fan of TWIN PEAKS, a wholly welcome one. In addition, for their contribution to the fantasy film genre, “Maquina del tiempo” awards were to be presented to Alejandro Amenabar, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Howard Berger.
In the run up to the festival some familiar names had popped up on our radar. Six years after his last feature, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, Darren Aronofsky was back (and in Sitges) with the premiere of THE FOUNTAIN. The honour of opening the festival was reserved for Guillermo del Toro and EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO. In the Korean corner was Bong Joon-ho, a favourite of ours for MEMORIES OF MURDER, with his latest offering THE HOST.
A touch of Hollywood was present in the form of Richard Linklater’s A SCANNER DARKLY, Paul Verhoeven’s ZWARTBOEK and Edward Norton’s performance in THE ILLUSIONIST, while Spain and France were represented by LA CAJA KOVAK (starring a favourite of ours Timothy Hutton) and Michel Gondry’s THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP
Rounding up our lookout list was Terry Gilliam presenting his latest film TIDELAND
Our stand-out films of the festival were LA CAJA KOVAK, RENAISSANCE, BRICK, THE UNGODLY, SCIENCE OF SLEEP, and PRINCESS
See our 2006 Diary for details of all films seen
For details of all 39th edition film entries and awards go to:
La Hora Fria
La Caja Kovak
The science of sleep
Right at your door
Dragon, Tiger, Gate
Children of men
The wicker man
Borat goes to America