Sitges 2008 - This Could Be One for the Ages!

Salivate and prepare to be completely blown away by the first half of the Sitges 2008 program!

With a furious drum beat and TNT Jackson kick to the face and Braveheart battle roar, Sitges 2008, announced one amazing lineup today and even better... it's only half the titles and events! Between their highlights and focus of key science fiction films of the past and new titles playing, this could be a fantastic film festival for the ages. The kind where you have a grandson that has a grandson that has a grandson that tells people as bragging rights that their distant relative Frank was at Sitges 2008. Sitges this year seems to be rolling out all the stops to outdo everything they have ever done before and It only makes me wonder if festival director Angel Sala morphed into James Cagney screaming "Top of the World" as he drew down the curtains with a furious display of festival fireworks to announce the Sitges 2008 films and events earlier today in Barcelona. As Mr. Sala drove off into the streets of Barcelona immediately after the conference on perhaps his BATPOD, we are left to only wonder how amazing the unannounced second half will be.

Sitges now in its 41st edition kicks off on October 2nd and runs through the 12th. This year they will have an expansive highlighted focus with special guests and planned events for the 40th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey, 40th anniversary of George A. Romero’s, Night of the Living Dead and also on the 75th anniversary of King Kong (highly appropriate with the Kong icon being so well connected with the festival). If your a fan of these films, then your in for a real treat with what they have in store! The Nosferatu Award this year will be going to Italian maestro Umberto Lenzi. Of special note this year is the fact that the Méliès d’Or award by the EFFFF (European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals) will be handed out at Sitges via special guests and members of Monty Python.

Let us now quickly mention just some of the titles announced today: Vinyan, Martyrs, Surveillance, Let the Right One in, Tokyo!, Crows-Episode 0, The Good The Bad and the Weird, The Chaser, Blindness, JCVD, The Monster X strikes Back: Attack on the G8 Summit, Transsiberian, Synecdoche, New York and retrospective screenings of Barbarella, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Planet of the Apes, Forbidden Planet, Logan’s Run and Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Whew, just saying that lineup in one breath feels like an incredible cinematic rush.

If your a fan of cinema this year certainly delivers. The Sitges film festival sits about 30 minutes southwest from Barcelona and is right along the Mediterranean coast. The main movie theater the Melia is something of cinema goer legend, as it boasts a giant screen and sound system that will forever leave you spoiled and wishing you had a local theater that was just half as good. It's a movie theater where you fully experience a movie, when bullets fly in a Johnnie To movie, you feel like bullets are flying past your head! Despite being a smaller coastal town there is plenty of affordable hotel and apartment sublets available from anywhere from 50-80 Euro a night. The overall atmosphere of the festival is very communal and very laid back. Festival goers can easily mingle with each other and stars without all the fuss.

FULL PRESS RELEASE AFTER THE LINK BUMP.

First Half of Titles at a Glance:

MAIN TITLES:
Vinyan, Martyrs, Surveillance, Let the Right One in, Tokyo!, Crows-Episode 0, The Good The Bad and the Weird, The Chaser

OUT OF COMPETITION:
Blindness
JCVD
Synecdoche, New York
Repo! The Genetic Opera
The Informers

SPAIN TITLES:
Sexy Killer
Transsiberian
Santos

NOVES VISIONS:
Otto; or up with Dead People
Beautiful
The Objective

MIDNIGHT X-TREME:
Philosophy of a Knife
Dance of the Dead
Reality Killers

ORIENT EXPRESS:
The Monster X strikes Back: Attack on the G8 Summit

RETROSPECTIVES:
2001: A Space Odyssey
King Kong (1933)
Planet of the Apes
Forbidden Planet
Logan’s Run
Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
Barbarella
Solaris
The Man Who Fell to Earth

Full press release below:

Main features: Science Fiction and everyday Horror 16/07/2008

The 41st edition, to be held from October 2nd to the 12th, will be dedicated to the 40th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Stanley Kubrick, and will be attended by, among others, actors Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea, special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull and Jan Harlan, executive producer and Kubrick’s assistant.

The Festival will offer a reflective retrospective on the role of science fiction in the history of contemporary cinema, with outstanding movies like Planet of the Apes, Forbidden Planet, Logan’s Run, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, among others. For many moviegoers it will be an excellent opportunity to see the best copies available of these films for the first time on the big screen. Sitges 08’s EUROPA IMAGINÀRIA will also revolve around the best European science fiction cinema with movies like Barbarella, Solaris and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

In addition, through a series of screenings and debates, the Festival will be paying tribute to the 75th anniversary of King Kong, the Festival’s image. We will be able to enjoy the remastered copy of King Kong from 1933 and also the documentary produced by Peter Jackson shooting of the original movie RKO Production 601: The Making of ‘Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World’.

Sitges 08’s OFICIAL FANTÀSTIC SELECTION will bring together tendencies from the current genre production, emphasizing everyday, purely real horror movies. Outstanding films like: Vinyan, by Fabrice Du Welz, one of the most promising young genre directors who already excelled with Calvaire; Martyrs, by Pascal Laugier, that has become the shocker of the year, considered by many the most extreme movie ever made; Surveillance, a contemporary American Gothic by Jennifer Chambers Lynch, David Lynch’s daughter; Let the Right One in, a Swedish film by Tomas Alfredson that has caused a huge sensation at many festivals around the world; Eden Lake, a British Funny Games by James Watkins; La possibilité d'une île, where Michel Houellebecq adapts his own novel; and Tokyo!, a fantasy fable directed three ways by genre gurus Bong Joon-ho, Léos Carax and Michel Gondry.
There will also be outstanding Asian films like Crows-Episode 0, where Takashi Miike composes a brutal story of youth violence in Japan based on a manga best seller; The good, the bad and the weird, de Kim Jee-woon, who came to Sitges to present The Tale of Two Sisters and Bittersweet Life in previous editions; and The Chaser, where Hong-Jin Na shows us an original point of view on a serial killer.

In the out-of-competition Oficial Fantàstic Selection there will be famous proposals like Blindness, the screen version of the José Saramago novel by Fernando Meirelles; JCVD, the faux Jean-Claude Van Damme biopic directed by Mabrouk El Mechri; Synecdoche, New York, from the always unclassifiable Charlie Kaufman; Repo! The Genetic Opera, a rock opera directed by Darren Lynn Bousman with a futuristic horror film tone that could become this year’s cult movie; and The Informers, screen adaptation of the best seller by Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho) directed by Gregor Jordan with stars like Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
This year the festival will reveal the importance of the documentary on fantasy films and movies with bizarre subject matter like Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, by Jeffrey Schwarz.

Sitges 08 will leave plenty of room for the most recent Spanish and Catalan productions with films like Sexy Killer, by Miguel Martí, with a tribute to 80’s youth horror movies; Transsiberian, by Brad Anderson, presenting a dark, neo-Gothic thriller that takes place in the mythic; Santos, where director Nicolás López tells the story of the simple life of a comic creator, despite concealing his facet a superhero; and Soy un pelele, by debut director Hernán Migoya. All Catalan produced films will be a part of the CATALAN FOCUS selection.

NOVES VISIONS will include films like Otto; or up with Dead People, by Bruce LaBruce, with a gay zombie as its leading character; Beautiful, by Juhn Jaihong, a disciple of Kim Ki-duk; and the new movie incursion by Daniel Myrick, one of the creators of The Blair Witch Project, entitled The Objective.

NOVA AUTORIA will continue to support new creators, with the SGAE’s sponsorship.

As it does every year, ANIMA’T will be committed to the best Japanese anime, and will be showing the excellent health of independent European and North American cinema from this past year with proposals like Idiots & Angels, by Bill Plympton, and a large selection of short films.

The festival’s most extreme category, MIDNIGHT X-TREME will continue to base its subject matter on the purest and harshest horror movies, with the most bloodcurdling film in recent years as its main attraction: Philosophy of a Knife, by Andrey Iskanov, an in-depth account of the genetic experiments carried out by the Japanese in the Second World War. During the Festival’s long nights you can enjoy classic zombie marathons with movies like Dance of the Dead, by Gregg Bishop; or home movie camera recordings starring serial killers like Reality Killers, by an anonymous director.

ORIENT EXPRESS, sponsored by Casa Asia, will continue with its commitment to the best productions from Asian countries like Takeshi Kitano’s hilarious transformation into a Japanese monster in the film The Monster X strikes Back: Attack on the G8 Summit, by Minoru Kawasaki.

SEVEN CHANCES continues to count on the special collaboration of the most outstanding film critics.

BRIGADOON will be giving the Nosferatu Award to Umberto Lenzi, creator of movies like Incubo sulla città contaminata (Nightmare City) and Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro (Eyeball), and will organize debates revolving around subjects like piracy, the relationship between music, horror and clips, plus more surprises.

The Festival will specially recall the 40th anniversary of George A. Romero’s emblematic movie, Night of the Living Dead with diverse activities and the presence of the director himself.

This year Sitges will be stage for the Méliès d’Or award organized by the EFFFF (European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals) for the best European fantasy film from the 2006-2007 edition. Attending the act will be several guests of honour: some of the members of Monty Python, an important exponent of European fantasy film given their imaginary world that is highly influenced by pioneers like Georges Méliès himself.

Young people’s opinions will also be present again this year thanks to the 4th Edition of the Carnet Jove Jury, to allow this group that is so important to the Festival to express itself. The period for receiving the candidate list finalized on July 15th with remarkable participation. At the end of September the five members of the jury will be chosen, and their duty will be to award two prizes: the Carnet Jove Jury Award for Best Motion Picture from the Oficial Fantàstic Selection and the Carnet Jove Jury Award for Best Motion Picture in the Midnight X-Treme Category.

Catalan Films & TV will be attending Sitges 08 once again to support Catalan production and will be holding the Industry Meeting Point, as well as organizing two theme days: the first on International Marketing and the second on Video Games and Cinema.

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