As the Sitges festival in Spain, which puts emphasis on fantasy and horror, comes to a close its juries declared winners in a number of categories. No single film stands out as an undoubted champion this year, but here are some titles that evoke our interest. To see a full list of winners, check out twitchfilm.
Awarded Best original soundtrack and a Special Jury Award in the fantasy category (official competition), the Jose Luis Guarner Critic Award and the Audience Award (El Periódico de Catalunya) is pretty good for a film we deemed highly entertaining but somewhat flawed (see our review). We might even go so far as calling Attack the Block a winner at Sitges festival. What was its appeal to the juries and the audience alike? Perhaps the immediate cult film label or the huge amount of humour, we’re not sure, but we certainly know why Basement Jaxx got awarded for best soundtrack, that prize is well deserved. Been hiding under a rock or just don’t fancy gritty alien movies set in South London housing estates? If you haven’t already, we suggest you take a look at this trailer.
Awarded Best Cinematography in the fantasy category and got a special mention for the Silver Méliès, Hell is a film about the world without any water in it. The story tells of three survivors on a journey through the dried lands of the planet driven by the promise of water (hmm, sounds a bit like Zombieland‘s premise, doesn’t it?) who encounter a mechanic who seems not to be trustworthy (to say the least). Human barbarism ensues, dystopia style. We like our apocalypse as much as the next person and quite fancy the look of this trailer (we apologize to our non German-speaking readers). So go Hell!
Brit Marling was awarded Best Actress for her performance in this film, which we here at Filmophilia have neglected to draw your attention to. We apologize for keeping you waiting. Another Earth is a tale of, well, another earth. Rhoda (Marling) spots a blot in the sky just before she crashes into a vehicle, killing several of the passengers. It is discovered that the blot she saw is an exact copy of our planet, inhabitants and all. An alternate universe if you will. Rhoda contacts the other survivor of the car crash, hiding her true identity, and as she gets closer to him, the other planet seems a more and more attractive place to live in. A highly interesting concept, don’t you agree? The juries at Sundance Film Festival did, and awarded the film two prizes (Special Jury Prize, World Cinema and Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize). Not shabby.
Many would claim that Red State is the winner this Sitges festival, while we claim that title belongs to Attack the Block. Winning Best Motion Picture in the fantasy category and Best Actor (Michael Parks), is nonetheless impressive, again for a film we did not piss our pants with excitement for, but liked a lot (see our review). Red State tells a tale of three men searching for women through an online dating service. When having found a woman who agrees to have sex with all three of them, they are lured into a trap set out by a cult, led by one demonic preacher (Parks). According to IMDb (or any other source for that matter) these are the first awards the film has received and one cannot help but wonder, will they be the first of many?
Winning the Gertie Award as Best Animated Film is reason enough for us to be intrigued by Tatsumi. As it appears on the Sitges website: Lord and master of manga, Yoshihiro Tatsumi has dazzled one and all. Among his regular readers and most devout fans is filmmaker Eric Khoo, who borrowed the brilliant mangaka´s autobiography, A Drifting Life, and five short stories to take the big leap from cartoon to the big screen. A photographer wanders around a ravaged Hiroshima, a worker who has a monkey for a friend, a pensioner decides to spend his final days among women, a girl prepared to break all bonds with men and a comic book artist about to get fired. Interested yet?
The horror film Kill List was awarded the Silver Méliès for Best European Motion Picture while the Golden Méliès for Best European Motion Picture went to Balada Triste de Trompeta. Kill List is a film about an out of work assassin, spiraling towards anxiety daily. Given a small list of hits the former soldier goes to work but before long the claws of insanity come a scratching. Being proclaimed as the best genre film coming out of Britain this is not one to be missed.
Any thoughts on the winners? Is Red State going to win more awards? Is Attack the Block’s attention deserved? Missing a title on Sitges’ list of winners? Tell all in comments below.