Sunday Bookmarks (Double Digest: Feb. 21-Mar. 6)


  • The Sitges Festival And Director Angel Sala Charged with EXHIBITION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY for Screening A SERBIAN FILM
    “A Serbian Film is shocking and extreme cinema and designed to be so. But child porn? That is absolutely ridiculous – the scene that tends to get people worked up occurring entirely offscreen with the violence implied and not actually depicted – and I can only hope that the courts recognize it as such and throw the case out.”
  • Process of Blockbuster Sale objected to by Disney, Universal, landlords, U.S. trustee and others
    Other studios that have said in court documents they are owed millions of dollars for products shipped since September include Universal, 20th Century Fox and Summit Entertainment. Several of the objecting parties, including the U.S. trustee, argued in court papers that instead of seeking a buyer, Blockbuster should be forced into Chapter 7, a liquidation of all its assets. That would mark a dramatic end to a company that less than a decade ago dominated the U.S. DVD and VHS rental market.
  • 52 Most Iconic Use of Pop Songs in Movies
    Who hasn’t heard a familiar pop song on the radio only to be transported back to the film that featured it? You probably never even paid a second thought, let alone liked that particular song before it became associated with that cinematic sequence. Yet, it was such a perfect complement to that one moment in the movie that you now know the lyrics by heart. In honor to that fleeting but powerful connection between music and film, we count down 52 of the most iconic pop songs in movies.
  • If There Were an Oscar for Film Titles
    Saul Bass on Film Titles: “My initial thoughts about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the film’s story, to express the story in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would have an emotional resonance with it.”
  • A History of Choose Your Own Adventure
    From the start, the books were full of innovative page hacks. Readers would be trapped in the occasional time loop, forced to flip back and forth between two pages. Most memorable was Inside UFO 54-40, a book in which the most desired outcome, discovering the Planet Ultima, could only be achieved by readers who cheated and flipped through the book until they reached the page on their own. At that point, the book congratulated the reader for breaking the rules.
  • Playing With the Truth: Film in 2010
    AIf I were to ask you to imagine the sinking of the Titanic, what images come to your mind? What about Roman gladiator fighting in the Colosseum? What do you picture when you think of John Smith and Pocahontas, or the Zodiac killer who terrorized San Francisco, or the fate of United Flight 93, or the storming of Omaha Beach on D-Day? You see where I’m going with this: for many people, films based on true events serve as the primary influence on the subconscious in remembering or imagining those events.
  • The Best Picture Nominees And Their Video Games Counterparts
    Welcome to our very own version of the Academy Awards, where we’ve paired a recent game with the same dramatic aspirations, themes, or capital D drama as each of the ten best picture nominees. We’ve also picked an Oscar-worthy scene from each, proving once and for all that games belong on the red carpet as much as the next sighing starlet.


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PRESS NOTE regarding charges against Ángel Sala, Festival Director, for the screening of A Serbian Film in 2010

SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia wishes to show its complete support for Ángel Sala and, by extension, the decisions that he has made while exercising his role as Director of the Festival.

Regarding the recent statements concerning the screening of A Serbian Film, the Festival wants to state that the above mentioned title is not a pornographic film, but, in fact, a fictional horror film, and is not meant as an attack or humiliation against the sexual dignity of minors.

SITGES wants to thank all the support it has received from its audience, other film festivals (1) and important cultural figures.

A Serbian Film was screened after carrying out all necessary informative and control measures in order to prevent any minors from accessing the screening. These measures consisted of information placed in the Festival media to guarantee awareness about the content of the film to the audience before its viewing, as well as demanding proof of age from viewers entering the theatre.

The path this film has followed has been the standard one within the conventional commercial circuit, having been screened, amongst many others, in the following international festivals and markets: Brussels, Montreal (Fantasia), San Francisco, Toronto, Austin, Porto, Sofia, Hamburg, Helsinki, Puchon (South Korea), Ravenna and Stockholm.

It is also worth mentioning that the film has been awarded several times, thrice in Montreal (Best Film, Best European Film, and the Innovation Award), the Special Jury Award at Fantasporto Festival in Porto (less than a week ago) and the Best Script Award at FIPRESCI Festival in Serbia.

A Serbian Film has also been screened at the two most prestigious markets in the world, the Cannes Film Market and Film Festival and the American Film Market in Santa Mónica, California, and will be commercially distributed in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

SITGES wants to thank again all support shown, as well as to express its respect to all the criticism that has given room to a necessary debate about the importance of freedom of speech and creation in the programming of film festivals.

SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia considers that it has acted rigorously in providing the audience with all the information it might require beforehand. Nevertheless, the rise of critical voices will make the Festival reflect on their communication mechanisms in the future, emphasizing child protection, and defending freedom of speech and creation as it has done from the beginning.


We, the undersigned, directors of Spanish film festivals, wish, in view of the leak to the press published this weekend, to state our surprise at the legal action taken against Ángel Sala, director of the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, for having included in the 2010 programme of the said event, at sessions for adults only, A Serbian Film, which it is claimed contains violent, pornographic scenes conflicting with the rights of the child.

Over and above our surprise at pinning responsibility of this kind on a cultural programmer, and not on those theoretically responsible for the content in question (the director and the producers, if anyone at all), we wish to recall, in addition to our support of Ángel Sala, that the film has been screened over the last twelve months in festivals in Brussels, Montreal, London, Oporto, Austin, San Francisco, Toronto, Sofia, Hamburg, Helsinki, Puchon (South Korea), Ravenna and Stockholm, among others. A Serbian Film has also enjoyed screening at the two most prestigious film markets in the world: Cannes, and the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. All of this without anyone, to date, having taken legal steps of any kind against the film, those responsible for it or its programmers.

We must also add that the film has won prestigious awards including three at Montreal (Best Film; Gold Award for Best European Film and Most Innovative Film); the Audience Award at the Fantasporto Festival in Oporto (less than a week ago); and the Best Screenplay Award at the FIPRESCI Festival in Serbia.

We also condemn the fact that behaviour such as that shown by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Barcelona appears to be taking us back to times of censorship limitations on freedom of expression and cultural programming that we sincerely believed belonged to the past.

Signed by:

* Javier Angulo (Festival de Valladolid)
* Josetxo Cerdán Los Arcos (Punto de Vista / Pamplona)
* José Luis Cienfuegos (Festival de Gijón)
* José Luis Rebordinos (Festival de San Sebastián)
* Carmelo Romero (Festival de Cine Español de Málaga)
* José Sánchez Montes (Festival de Granada / Cines del Sur)
* Claudio Utrera (Festival de Las Palmas)
* Javier Martín Domínguez (Festival de Sevilla)
* Eduardo Trías (Festival de Huelva)
* Josemi Beltrán (Semana de Cine Fantástico y de Terror de San Sebastián)