It’s an award that honors the festival and honors Lynch, in equal measure. A deserved award, not for a specific title, but for the immensity of his work, which recognizes above all the risk within a genre that is sometimes as codified as fantasy and horror. Despite not telling stories of vampires, mummies, serial killers or the undead, despite flying only once through the imaginary of science fiction (Dune), Lynch has sown the genre with unease with independent, minority and cursed films that are have become cult pieces.
The team led by Ángel Sala now rewards, in 2020, that uncompromising coherence, and that ability to create images of pure unease, when the director of Lost Highway continues to generate disturbing pieces outside the system, either on YouTube or returning to the margins of Twin Peaks, a series that is neither film nor television; in any case, it is something else.
It is the coherence that unites the electric buzz that haunts the leading couple of Eraserhead, the anguish at being different from The Elephant Man, the rotten universe of the Harkonnen in Dune, the prevailing evil in the small towns of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks , the wicked fairy tale that Wildheart becomes, the pure horror of Fire walks with me, the double personalities of Lost Highway, the mystery of the blue box on Mulholland Drive, and the impenetrable labyrinths of the Inland Empire. We would even add the real adventures of the old man who travels the country driving a lawnmower in A True Story, an alien tale that takes him to his land with astonishing ease.
Lynch was one of the stars, along with David Cronenberg and Anthony Perkins, of the 1986 edition of the festival. He came to present Blue Velvet, his camera film after the odyssey in the big production that Dune meant, and he left with the award for the best film under the arm. Four years later Savage Heart was screened in Sitges, with which Lynch had won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. He did it in what was then called the Informative Section, together with titles such as La voz de la luna -Filmoteca de Catalunya exhibited until a few days ago an exhibition of drawings that united Lynch with Fellini-, El exorcista III, Línea mortal and Robocop 2 .
Years later, a midnight session at El Retiro hosted a screening of Head Eraser. In 2001 Mulholland Drive was introduced. 2006 was the year of the first great tribute to the filmmaker by the contest. The poster for that edition, which celebrated Blue Velvet’s two decades of existence, consisted of a severed human ear – like the one found by Kyle MacLachlan in the film – and deposited on Sitges beach, by the sea. The book Universo Lynch was also published and several of the author’s films were screened, although not the one he had just presented in Venice, Inland Empire – ultimately his last work premiered in commercial theaters – since the European distributor wanted to reduce the footage with respect to to the version presented at the Venetian Lido and did not allow it to pass through Sitge.
In 2016 Dune was recovered, and Peter Braatz’s documentary Blue velvet revisited was screened, a personal making of of the filming of the film made in Super 8. And at RTe 2020, the festival not only gave him the honorary award, but also closing with the remastered 4K version of The Elephant Man. Sitges and Lynch, a very good relationship.