Balagueró comes back to haunt Venice's dark hours
For the third year in a row, the Catalan filmmaker Jaume Balagueró comes back to haunt Venice's midnight screenings: after Fragile [+see also:
film profile], shot in English, and the middle-length movie Para entrar a vivir, his new title REC [+see also:
interview: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
interview: Julio Fernández
film profile] (out of competition too) is opening the "Mezzanotte" (Midnight) section. "I am calmer than the first time, but Venice is always a major event".
His co-director, Paco Plaza, shares his stress. They are presenting Operación Triunfo: la pelicula, about a famous Spanish reality-talent-show - an atypical movie for two filmmakers whose careers have been dedicated to chillers. For that matter, it is not said that they are not considering trying other genres in the future : Balagueró is currently working on an adaptation of José Carlos Somoza's novel "La dama no 13", "a horror story on muses", but he might still wander in the drama genre ("actually, some of my films are not pure horror flicks, Fragile is also a love story"). While Plaza stays "steeped in the world of monsters", he confesses to thinking about comedy.
REC does not lack amusing elements, but it also perpetuates the claustrophobic atmosphere of Para entrar a vivir, part of the TV project "Historia para no dormir" (litt. "stories that will keep you from sleeping"). The mock TV show depicted in the film is on the contrary called "While you are sleeping" and follows a fire brigade for a whole (admittedly ordinary) night when a phone call takes them to a building so highly secured that they become prisonners inside it. Those uncommon safety measures intrigue the residents, as well as the young presenter and the cameraman of her reality show – and it is from the point of view of his telecamera that we witness, for eighty minutes, a crescendo in horror, in its contemporary (genetic, atomic, biological) and its ancient forms (possession by demons).
(Translated from Italian)
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