MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival is back from this Tuesday, September 6th, until Monday, the 12th. As always, the 16th edition of the event will take place at Cinema São Jorge , on Avenida da Liberdade.
In addition to the novelties, several special sessions are planned in the program. For example, there will be a screening of a recently restored copy of “A Praga”, by Brazilian horror cinema master José Mojica Marins. And the story of how the film was lost and then recovered is told in “The Last Plague of Mojica”.
MOTELX will also screen the first ever Portuguese horror film, “Os Crimes de Diogo Alves” (1911). This was one of pianist Bernardo Sassetti’s favorite film productions. Ten years after his death, and in collaboration with Casa Bernardo Sassetti, the festival is hosting a silent film session with music by the composer — performed live by a combo from the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa at Teatro São Luiz, this Wednesday. fair, day 7.
Another of the main initiatives is the publication of the book “O Quarto Perdido do MOTELX – Os Filmes do Terror Português (1911-2006)”. This is a record of all films associated with the horror genre made in Portugal until 2006 — the year before the first edition of MOTELX. The research work started in 2009.
As part of this project to promote and celebrate national terror, the festival will screen three films by producer Paulo Branco, which appear in the book: “O Convento” (1995), by Manoel de Oliveira; “O Fascínio” (2003), by José Fonseca e Costa; and “Coisa Ruim” (2006), by Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra. Paulo Branco will be present to talk about his experiences as a producer.
After the traditional warm-up program, which extended to other places in Lisbon, MOTELX takes place at Cinema São Jorge in all its fullness. NiT has selected seven new films that are worth discovering at the festival. You can find the full program at site event official.
“Bodies Bodies Bodies”, Halina Reijn
It is the official opening session of this year’s MOTELX. In this summer slasher from the highly regarded A24 studios, the plot centers on a group of wealthy 20-somethings who are planning a big party in a remote family mansion. A game during the party becomes fatal – which will make the party, full of fake friends, go very wrong. This satire on generation Z stars the likes of Amanda Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Pete Davidson.
To see: September 6th, 9:30 pm
“My Grandfather’s Demons”, Nuno Beato
This national production combines traditional animation with stop-motion. It is inspired by the clay figures of the ceramist Rosa Ramalho and has a script by the writer Possidónio Cachapa. The narrative focuses on Rosa, an exemplary professional, who dedicates her life to work. The death of her grandfather, from whom she had inevitably walked away, causes her a huge attack of stress, which jeopardizes her choices and her vision of life. Rosa decides to leave the city and head to the place of her childhood, the landscape of Trás-os-Montes. But she is not alone. He is joined by a group of clay demons modeled by his grandfather who seem to come to life. The film ends up appealing to a life that is less virtual and more connected to the land — and to people.
To see: September 7, 7pm
“Sunglasses”, Dario Argento
One of the masters of Italian horror, Dario Argento, is one of the special guests of this edition of MOTELX. He comes to present his new film, the first in 10 years, which centers on a young escort who lost his sight while escaping a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes in Rome. After the initial shock, she is determined to get on with her life – and will have the help of the young boy Chin, who also survived the accident that rendered her blind. But the two will have to face the fury of the assassin who is on their trail. Daughter Asia Argento is part of the cast.
To see: September 8, 9:20 pm
“Wolf Child”, Frederico Serra
From a series scheduled to premiere on RTP in 2023, “Lusitânia”, MOTELX shows “Criança Lobo”, by Frederico Serra (co-author of “Coisa Ruim” or “Entre os Dedos”, with Tiago Guedes). The series will recount stories based on national folklore legends and myths. “Criança Lobo” was recorded in Sabugal, in an environment of deep Portugal, centered on a much desired child born on a full moon night. When he grows up and develops his animalistic nature, he is pursued by the villagers. He ends up forming a friendship with a young witch. Together they will try to break the curse and find their place in the world.
To see: September 8, 7pm; September 9, 9:10 pm
“The Open Body”, Ángeles Huerta
In this co-production between Spain and Portugal, the story takes place in 1909. A young teacher named Miguel is placed in a small town on the border. Lobosandaus is an inhospitable place, with distant people accustomed to remote traditions. At first, it doesn’t seem the right place for Miguel, a man of lights, interested in spreading knowledge. However, as he becomes enchanted by the enigmatic Dorinda and as winter progresses, he will feel the darkness approaching. The unexpected death of one of the residents promises to have a major impact on the land—and open the door to a ghostly presence.
To see: September 10, 21:55
“Final Cut”, Michel Hazanavicius
The director of the acclaimed “The Artist” is the author of “Final Cut”. In an abandoned building, a crew shoots a low-budget horror movie. Thanks to his detestable attitudes, the filmmaker is hated by the team. At one point he unravels his plan to unleash a zombie curse. The actors will have to fight the undead and the director for their lives. It is a remake of the Japanese film “One Cut of the Dead”, with great names in French cinema such as Romain Duris and Bérénice Bejo.
To see: September 11, 6:05 pm
“Resurrection”, Andrew Semans
The closing session of MOTELX takes place with this “Resurrection”. With Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth in the cast, the story focuses on Margaret, a woman who has managed to best balance her busy career with the challenge of being a single mother—especially to a fiercely independent daughter. Her successful routine is shaken, however, when she catches a glimpse of a man from her past. Gradually, she begins to see him over and over, everywhere — and of course this is no coincidence. Margaret will have to confront the “monster” she managed to avoid for 20 years.
To see: September 11, 9pm