In Sitges it rains and then it doesn’t. It has always been like this for fifty-five years, it is what is known as halftime. There is still the week ahead to negotiate the weather with our ghosts while the films follow one another and surprises occur, exciting manifestations that only in this festival, perhaps the most important in the world of its kind, can take place.
Is the case The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrathe first feature film by Korean Park Sye-young and a sort of ‘Tsukamoto funghi’ with a moldy mattress as the protagonist. or of piaffeerotic cinema arty about the retribution of the libido, with horses, perverted botanists and capricious outbursts of technazo, a cinema that is as old-fashioned in its avant-garde will as it is beautiful to look at. Synopsis we could read for entire afternoons, another thing is to watch the movies. Some just ask us to get carried away, they don’t ask for anything, but later it turns out that, splendid, they have spawned in us a restlessness that will have us pondering on the following days, and that perhaps will give rise to some conclusions regarding our own circumstance. whatever it is. That’s one of the important things that movies about monsters, demons and witches sometimes do: cast spells. Philosophical and humanist operations with which the social cinema made by the posh people of this country cannot even dream of.
the electronic wizards
The cinema has three capital avatars: terror, eroticism and cartoons. Everything else is bullshit. Assigned to the last of these three incarnations, Alberto Vázquez has premiered in Sitges Unicorn Warsa story in fluorescent colors that confronts unicorns dark and amorous bears of traveled dick. The film is an unusual aesthetic flash and its mere existence is a colossal achievement in an industry as puny as that of Spanish animation. It opens in commercial theaters on October 21, and all parents should take their children to see it because that’s what cartoon movies for adults are actually made for, so that children can be traumatized in the secrecy of children . So that they never forget.
Another Iberian anomaly present in Sitges is César Velasco Broca’s cinema, which these days has presented Riojan joysa short film that is a prologue to his first feature, the future testament, currently in an advanced stage of development. It is said in this piece that Romanesque architecture points towards the interior of man while Gothic architecture points towards the sky. The filmic architectures of Velasco Broca, for their part, would be looking for their tails like ouroboros caught up in serials, tradition and revelations, mysterious artifacts overflowing with symbols and a very serious joke. I wish all cinema was this, I wish we could forget the rest.
Only for adults
A very high percentage of the memories of our lives are related to this festival. One of mine is apocryphal, I didn’t experience it, but it concerns a photograph of Jean Rollin posing on the beach in Sitges in the 1976 edition. Jean Rollin made a film, generally of vampires, but also of ordinary people, that is, pornographic. One of those pornos that he shot in the 70s under his usual pseudonym of Michel Gentil, Tout le monde il en a deuxwhich was called here, attention, The horny girls orgyIt happened at his house. I was never in his house, but I know it was his house because these tiny films did not admit sets, everything was true in them. In 2010, when the director died, people close to him organized visits to his home so that fans could appropriate his memories, books, objects and other belongings of the filmmaker that would otherwise have been lost, since it is unlikely that a film library or a state foundation takes over the estate of one of the most marginal filmmakers in history.
Today the world is a better place with his films inside, and the Sitges festival, which knows it, pays tribute to him in this edition by premiering the documentary Orchestrator of Stormswhere the figure of an artist bent on dismissing his own style, vague and routine in itself, is illustrated, and finally giving a cinema unaware even of cinema as such, but instead thriving anarchy, equivocal lyrics, psychological sex and little else, because after all little else is as necessary as all that.
It was Jean Rollin who gave Brigitte Lahaie a scythe and offered to make a non-pornographic film, in which the actress had struggled for a few very fruitful years. She began as a body double in the mid-1970s, putting her buttocks and breasts at the service of other actresses, but her dazzling beauty, fertile forms and an underdeveloped expression, with that gaze that is both on fire and innocent, suitable for a cinema based on physics and chemistry, soon made her one of the great figures of the golden age of French porn. Then, beyond X-cinema, she would shoot with Henry Verneuil, Jean-Jacques Beineix, with Alain Delon in his first film as a director, In the skin of a policemanor with our crazy Jess Franco predators of the nightrecovered in Sitges these days.
Today Brigitte is someone who is very popular in France for her radio programs and her publications on sexology, although she has come here to collect the Nosferatu prize for her entire career, which she wanted to share on stage with the memory of Jean Rollin, her friend from soul under whose orders he pretended one day to have embodied the Countess Bathory and bathed in virgin blood in a film that does not exist, but that we fans dream of being able to see the next day every day.