The third day at the festival was the day of Nicolas Cage. He came to present one of his latest movies, Mandy, and he ate it all. With the strange aura of a person that is known literally all around the globe, and at the same time, with the modesty of someone who still has very much the feet on the ground, always with that brush-stroke of affliction in his eyes, he managed to please hundreds of fans who came to see him at the always welcoming coast town of Sitges.
Not only did many people come back to their homes with an autograph or a selfie picture with Cage, but also with the satisfaction of having seen him in one of his best ever acting roles. Director Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)), also present at the festival, brought us the incredible chance of admiring the collective work of the arts in a movie capable of catching all the senses and leaving us entranced in front of such a personal, daring cinema proposal. One of those not so common movies with soul (as the director said in its presentation, it contains a piece of himself), left a very divided audience from a completely booked auditorium. As it happens with art, not everyone vibrates the same way when positioned in front of it. It’s not a movie to please big audiences, neither. It’s simply a love story, a revenge story, a movie that cries and screams of pain for the loss of the beloved one, but the way it does so, the language it uses, that’s for me where this movie separates from all the rest and stands as a truly original cinematographic art piece. Because when I mean it cries, it’s not just tears we see on the screen, or a particularly moved Nicolas Cage, it’s everything, it’s the light, it’s the walls, it’s the music that is crying so out loud in an inconsolable restless pain… the mastery in which all components of the movie are mixed is irreproachable.
With one of the last score works of music composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (passed away at the beginning of this year in Berlin), and with images like shots from a dream originated in the deepest nooks and crannies of metal, both music and imagery make of this two hours running time a definitely memorable dark audiovisual experience. As Nicolas Cage said in his speech while receiving the Grand Honorary Award from the festival, genre films, fantasy films, are so important to keep us dreaming and experiencing with cinema, because in this kind of fiction everything is possible, and we can express ourselves in an unconstrained way, limitless, while being remembered that imagination is part of the human condition.
The Saturday also counted on the Zombie Walk, the particular horror festival experience attracting many visitors, where hundreds of people are dressed up as zombies and enroll in a promenade all along the village. The dedication of the genre fans to their makeup and disguises makes of it all a real experience, worth seeing either from the inside (as a zombie) as well as a spectator, being caught on a zombie tide in the real life of the town streets.
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