Sitges 2023 Chronicles: Day 2

There we go with our second day. We’re reporting late, as usual, but it’s never too late for fun. Friday was a busy day. Thursday ended up late and, as exciting as Friday is, at 8 in the morning we are still half asleep.Our program today consists of a quirky combination of tender coming-of-age, LGTB and classic horror.

The day could not start with more different alternatives. On the one hand, My Animal running at Tramuntana, is a provocative LGTBQ+ lycanthropic coming-of-age, original and ambitious. On the other side, right at the same place where Caligula was seen yesterday practicing the most outrageous perversions, today we are witnesses of the most tender story. The new classic of Ghibli Studios, Miyazaki’s The Boy and The Heron runs at Auditori and takes the audience in a fantastic ride that a younger me could hardly imagine.

Only a few stories could make a better start, preparing the ground for the next one. This time a well-claimed one: Wake-Up. Tramuntana is full and the atmosphere is warm, ecstatic. It is a hot Friday afternoon and the audience is ready to applaud even before the initial credits have started. Afterwards we follow a group of Gen Z activists in a political protest that will end up in a bloodshed. The collective Roadkill Superstars sign a story that does not hesitate to leave statements, yet putting entertainment at the first place. The point is clear: society is terror and blood is blood. We go out happy, eyes wide open.

For the next ones, the day continues with young and quirky ways. Next two films focus on the younger ones, nonetheless the perspective could not be more different. While Retiro screens Heavies Tendres animation, my colleague runs to Club Zero, a dystopian movie set in an elite high school. Downtown cinema Prado screens the first one. Heavies Tendres is a local one based on the homonymous animation series by Juanjo Sáez. This one is simple, minimalistic. But at the same time it’s not. With easy traces and uncomplicated designs, Heavies Tendres offers a warm and sometimes heartbreaking coming-of-age following a teenage friendship forged by heavy metal. It oozes emotions from the most little details. Subtle and beautiful, intertwines Iron Maiden with Truffaut and French underground comic for a heartwarming story about innocence and love. My colleague’s choice at Auditori, Club Zero, could not be more different of course. Dystopian, fun and to the point.

The day is getting dark as the screenings end, but we still have time for one. One that could not be missed. Yesterday Paco Plaza presented his new movie at Auditori, today he does it at the classic cinema Retiro and the audience applauds right from the start, because this one is the good one. Sister Death is a classic supernatural one. The story of a novice and her protege at religious boarding school, combining the religious theme with a Spanish civil war for a story that might not be innovative, but solid and well-done. Some cheeky references and jokes put the ice on the cake to finish the day in a great mood.

The screen fades out and now the day is gone. We have barely eaten and are starving. But let’s wait until tomorrow. There will be more.