Gaspar Noé does not do things by halves, as can be seen from such controversial films as Irreversible or Love. His latest work, Climax, is also radical in the way it submerges the viewer in a party of young urban dancers that for mysterious reasons gets completely out of control. Yet, the official jury of the Sitges Film Festival considered the film by French-Argentinian director, Gaspar Noé, to be a worthy winner of the 51st edition of the festival for its brave radical and artistic vision.
Meanwhile, the Italian film, Lazzaro felice, directed by Alice Rohrwacher and starring Catalan actor Sergi López, was the other big winner at the festival, taking three prizes: the jury’s special prize, the critics’ prize, and the young jury’s prize for the best fantasy film. The recognition shows that fantasy cinema can also be socially relevant, as in this film in which a noblewoman tricks a group of peasants, condemning the exploitation we are subject to in a capitalist system.
The best director award went to Panos Cosmatos, for Mandy, a revenge story starring Nicolas Cage. Andrea Riseborough took the best actress award for her role in the US independent film, Nancy, while best actor went to Hasan Ma’jun, for his leading role in the Iranian film, Pig.
Other awards in Sitges went to the script for the French film Au poste!, written and directed by Quentin Dupieux, the special effects of the Japanese production, Inuyashiki, the photography of Indian production, Tumbbad, and the music of the Japanese Samurai film, Killing.
The public prize went to a film only put forward at the last moment, the Australian film, Upgrade, a sci-fi story set in a future dominated by technology that draws on such classics as Blade Runner, Robocop and Terminator.