Sitges 2023 Chronicles: Day 3-4

Mary Lambert at Sitges 2023
Mary Lambert during the shooting of Siesta in 1987. © Lorimar

The weekend has been full of intensity, bad vermouth and of course, fresh movies from all around the world. With the perspective of the Zombie Walk taking Sitges 2023, Ganiveta was confronted with an essential question: joining the party or act like the responsible and professional movie detectives we boast being? The answer is clear: we’ll go for both.

Saturday starts with a screening of beautiful fantasy horror Moon Garden, which we already reviewed a few months ago. Not a lot to say here, apart from highlighting its visual value and its delicacy in every scene. But the day has just started and not everything is about tenderness and beauty today. In fact, right after Moon Garden we jump for some horror and blood.

On the one side, Anna Zlokovic stands at Retiro’s stage to present her debut Appendage: an exciting mix of dark comedy and body horror about a fashion designer who grows an appendage out of her darker thoughts and feelings. Appendage has a good rhythm, is witty and it’s fun, but above all, leaves a message for understanding and self compassion. A reminder to take care of your darkest side, to keep your ugly side balanced. A story about inner (and outer) monsters, that are dark and cute at the same time, with an hilarious screenplay.

On the other side, Tramuntana is screening the last work of the already praised Adams Family: Where the devil roams. This might be one of their best work to date, at least at the level of Hellbender (2021). Where the devil roams is a circus themed road movie full of superstitions and black magic. A must-watch and a gem inside the indie horror scene.

With this we can be more than satisfied and consider the job done. But the day is far from over. The promenade has been full since early on with make-up stands and as we dive into the afternoon, outfits and make-ups Sitges becomes a catwalk for impressive costums and make-ups. The show starts right at 8:30 pm with the presence of Mary Lambert, who will receive the Time Machine award afterwards at Auditori. For the occasion, two of her biggest hits have been screened previously at Prado and Tramuntana: surrealistic drama Siesta (1987) and the classic Pet Sematary (1989). in 4k.

Meanwhile we have fun, find the worst vermouth in town at a shady Chinese restaurant and go to bed happy and tipsy. Sunday we take it easy. The Zombie Walk is over and that means no more advertisement for it before the movies, which is (goddamn) great news. Nevertheless we do not take that much advantage, as our agenda shows only 2 titles today. The first one, The Last Ashes, is a story of revenge set in the Luxembourg of XIXth century. The movie follows the rebellion against the Graffs, a patriarchal and tyrannical family that reigns within the walls of an isolated village. Openly feminist and necessarily violent, it offered an interesting alternative for the section Noves Visions, that unfortunately didn’t quite work for me, due to an unnecessarily slow rhythm.

In the afternoon we head for one of the most awaited ones this year. It takes place at the small cinema Prado, but when the movie starts the crowd has already taken the stairs. The room is more than full and we have high expectations. Junta Yamaguchi does not disappoint. His new movie River runs again in time loops. Similar to his debut, but at the same time different, River is a reinterpretation of time travel stories and a witty reflection about time that will just take you to any place but what you thought at first. Fun, beautiful and clever, this one will be difficult to surpass.

Now, the weekend is gone and we deserve some rest. We enjoy some drinks, the sun and the beach. Tomorrow awaits with more fantasy and more news.