Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Seven Heads” before the apocalypse
After winning the Critics’ Prize in the 2011 edition merced that revealing and forceful debut that turned out to be “El Páramo”, the Colombian director Jaime Osorio Márquez returns to Sitges seven years later with “Siete Cabezas” . The one that supposes its second film appears to us like a powerful sample of psychological and atmospheric terror based on Biblical apocalypse. Amen.
What is it?
“And Marcos, do not you think it’s kind of weird?” Camila asks Leo this. Marcos is really a little strange: he has a peculiar bond with his body and with nature and lives alone in the middle of a wasteland. This is where Camila and Leo travel in order to study the deaths of the birds in the area, with the help of a Marcos who will see how his darker side emerges to the surface.
A military base located in a cold Colombian páramo, 9 experienced soldiers in a dangerous mission and a complete battalion disappeared without leaving a major trace, are the elements that made up the debut feature of the Colombian filmmaker, Jaime Osorio Márquez . Deserving of the Critics Award in Sitges 2011, “El Páramo” was filmed in a real military base at 4300 meters above sea level, with a work team of approximately 60 people, who climbed 3,600 meters daily to reach the set of filming. The harsh conditions of the filming and of the páramo, forced the production to raise a doctor and a nurse to attend to the constant cases of flu, muscle spasms and discomfort due to the change in pressure. Film war or paradigm of terror? Both one and the other. An incontestable exercise in direction and a strong psychological reflection as well as a sharp criticism towards the Colombian army is what brought us his forceful debut. A major debut to which seven years later follows with “Siete Cabezas”.
Who goes out?
Andrés Castañeda , secondary in “El Páramo”, is in this case the central axis of “Siete Cabezas”. The one that gives us is a huge interpretive tour de force without hardly saying a word. A path between a latent viscerality and an anguished hermeticism, his mere presence, his small gestures and penetrating gaze, carry the weight of the film on his shoulders. What is yours is a threat.
What is it?
The apocalypse in its most savage and wild record.
What does it offer?
A path between the misanthropic discourse of “Animal” and the strong formal device of “Die, monster, die” , the disturbing “Siete Cabezas” confirms the excellent health of Latin American genre films. Three titles of the Official Section of the current Festival of Sitges that deserve to shine with their own light in the final record. In this sense, the new film by Jaime Osorio Márquez is revealed again in a fascinating display of atmospheric terror that, through his visual power, suggests the transcendental and equally disturbing themes that he is developing. And it is that the information that is giving us is dosing it in dropper. “Seven Heads” is something like the man vs. nature transferred to its most destructive and annihilating dimension. Also more existential and purgatory. In other words, the prelude to the biblical apocalypse in its most savage and wild record. As one of the characters themselves warns us in one of the few explanatory sequences of the film, “people wipe out animals, even with human beings themselves, with a cruelty never seen before in nature”. This is what comes to suggest “Seven Heads”, the dehumanized human condition in its ongoing struggle between good and evil to avoid or definitely propel the destruction of the world. A struggle between heaven and hell that moves us from this imposing exercise of style that translates a permanent sensation of threat provokes the constant chill.