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'The Walking Dead' director on the Sitges red carpet

Along with Greg Nicotero, the horror and fantasy film festival has welcomed Nicolas Cage and more

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09 October 2018 04:33 PM

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ACN | Sitges

One of the minds behind 'The Walking Dead' walked the red carpet in Catalonia today – Greg Nicotero, responsible for special effects and even directing and producing some episodes. At the International Fantastic Sitges Film Festival, renowned for celebrating all that is horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, Nicotero also gave good news for the zombie series fans: it should be running for years to come.

The premiere for the ninth season premiered on Monday, directed by Nicotero himself. In this season, the director explained, the series aims to go back to "more emotional" episodes. And an ending to the season still hasn't even been discussed within the story arc, so it should continue for three or four more years, he said.

Also today, Brazilian director Dennison Ramalho spoke on his horror film 'Morto nao fala,' translated as 'The Dead Don't Speak,' which shows the "chaotic reality of Brazil" through a tale of a man who can speak to the dead.

New controversial Von Trier film

Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier's new work has also been shown at the film fest. Called 'The House that Jack Built,' it enters inside the mind of a serial killer, and has been met with controversy due to its explicit violence.

In the Sitges auditorium, some audience members clapped or gasped at some of the more violent moments. The film's ending, though, was met with enthusiastic applause, something which the director of the film festival, Àngel Sala, valued very positively, a reaction to what he deemed to go much further than a masterpiece.

"What you're doing here is important," proclaims Nicolas Cage at Sitges

On Saturday, Nicolas Cage also accepted the Grand Honorary Award from the Sitges film festival. Cage thanked the audience by saying "What you're doing here is so important, because you're encouraging - with your enthusiasm, with your appreciation - young filmmakers and young actors to follow their dreams and to go ahead and be abstract, and be surrealists. And that," concluded the actor, "fosters creative thinking and stimulates new talent."

Encouraging young talent is an issue which sits particularly close to the actor's heart –Cage would later explain on Sunday that when met with rejection after rejection, he considered leaving it all and leaving on a boat, to be a sailor or fisherman, while dedicating himself to writing. "That was plan B," he said, "but plan A worked out."

Horror and its "dream logic"

Of the genre, Cage said: "horror has a different set of physics to it," defining it as "dream logic. And within that dream logic," he continued, "you can experiment, you can explore, it's like a playground: you can be a filmmaker, you can be an actor." And, continued the actor, "you can realize your most abstract and surrealist dreams and not be judged for it, and be accepted for it." This, Cage explained, is "very hard to do, in the realistic physics of drama."  

Nicolas Cage most recently starred in the phantasmagorical gore-fest thriller 'Mandy' by Panos Cosmatos, a tale of love lost, cult brutality and brutal vengeance with a focus on lighting and surprising new storytelling methods. To capture character Red Miller's suffering in the feature-length, Cage explained that he channeled all the anger and frustration he had felt at being in a wheelchair, due to an accident before shooting.

Ron Perlman honored at the festival

Also recognized was actor Ron Perlman with the festival's Time Machine award. A quick retrospective of Perlman's career was shown on the screen – during which, he jokes, he closed his eyes. In fact, in an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN) he explained how much he likes acting but how much he hates watching himself.

Perlman explained that the characters that "had the most impact on his career" were Hellboy and Clay Morrow from the show 'Sons of Anarchy.' Other characters brought to life by the actor include the beast in the show 'The Beauty and the Beast,' Hannibal Chau in 'Pacific Rim,' and Salvatore in 'The Name of the Rose.'

When accepting his award on Friday, Perlman spoke of his love for his career, his path, and for belonging to this "exclusive group of people who dedicate themselves to the world of fantasy and cinema, on the shoulders of giants of cinema who came before us." Perlman also presented a new film he produced and starred in, 'Asher,' directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

An emotional festival

Others to receive the award during the Sitges Film festival include Tilda Swinton, most recently having acted in Guadagnino's reimagining of the '70s Argento classic 'Suspiria.' In an emotional acceptance speech last week, she revealed that her father had passed away that very morning, and she had ultimately decided to come to Catalonia "for fantasy."

Meanwhile, Blaxploitation starlet Pam Grier also spoke about a very personal subject: the so-called #MeToo movement, including what it aims to do, and her own experience with sexual assault. The event runs until October 14, and foresees even more big names to come, including MNight Shyamalan. 

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  • Producer, director, and special effects expert for The Walking Dead series Greg Nicotero at the Sitges Film festival on October 9 2018 (by Pere Francesch)

  • Producer, director, and special effects expert for The Walking Dead series Greg Nicotero at the Sitges Film festival on October 9 2018 (by Pere Francesch)