Sitges Film Festival 2019 – Day 7: “Synchronic” saves the day

Sitges Film Festival 2019 - Day 7: “Synchronic” saves the day

A Wednesday on the final stretch of a 10 days festival is not always the most exciting day. And that is what happened. Although, at the end of the day, one movie was outstanding from the rest. Synchronic (2019) that counted with the presence of its directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the people who also brought out the horror and science-fiction titles The Endless (2017) and Spring (2014). With their new work they had the presence of a big star like Anthony Mackie, a habitual in science-fiction flicks besides his most notorious participation in the Marvel Universe as Falcon. Synchronic (2019) is a story about experimental drugs, horrific deaths, and some other surprises. Not the most original film, but surely a little enjoyable one for the fans of the directors.

Prior to that, we had the pleasure to attend to the screening of The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019), the mandatory dosage of fistfights and blazing guns always present at the Sitges Film Festival. Not as spectacular as last year’s Timo Tjahjanto masterpiece The Night Comes for Us (2018), The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019) is a good Korean thriller with a well-driven story and some good fighting scenes, about a troubling cop breaking the rules joining a big mafia boss in order to capture a serial killer that is spreading the region with victims.

The presence of Japanese director, writer, actor, and former cyberpunk-style filmmaker SABU was one of the main courses of the festival for the lovers of Asian cinema. And this year he is presenting two movies, music drama Jam (2018) and the one we are talking about in these lines, Dancing Mary (2019). Known for films like Dangan Ranna (1996), Postman Blues (1997) and Miss Zombie (2013), the expectations with the new film weren’t as coped as expected. Dancing Mary (2019) is a well-intentioned supernatural ghost drama, about two different people on their way to grant the last wishes of a deceased couple turned into ghosts. The situations are silly and the pace of the movie is at times extremely boring, but a well done visual work can at least salvage the final product.

And, to finish with the Wednesday, two debutant directors. New Zealand-born Ant Timpson, known for being one of the producers of Turbo Kid (2015), Deathgasm (2015) and The Greasy Strangler (2016), presented Come to Daddy (2019). The movie, which biggest bait is to be starred by Elijah Wood, passed almost unnoticed. A forgettable comedy with doses of horror and thriller that didn’t satisfy the audience. And then, German-born Xaver Böhm, who was nominated for the SXSW Grand Jury Award in 2015 for his animated short film Roadtrip (2014), brought O Beautiful Night (2019). The movie has high aspirations although the final result distances for becoming a memorable film. Heavily influenced by a masterpiece like Wim WendersWings of Desire (1987), O Beautiful Night (2019) has a very promising start but soon wanders in self-indulgence. And then is when the spectator gets disconnected from the film. Still, it is visually powerful and it has some satisfying moments.