A report by one of our Spanish Dominians, Carmen.
During the international promotion of his new movie Pet, Dominic Monaghan was joined by Spanish director Carles Torrens and co-star Ksenia Solo.
And what better place to present this work of art than the prestigious Festival of Fantastic Film Sitges, which this year celebrates its 49th edition.
This festival, which hosts a huge variety of fantasy genre films, is ideal to present films that can be considered uncommercial, and outside the large franchises platform.
A low budget, great revelation actors and a huge amount of imagination is their slogan. And it’s been exciting to track the deployment of the fantasy and the artistic sense that has occurred in this Mediterranean resort, daily, through the media and its official website.
As you can imagine, in Sitges, they take risks. And it is committed to absolute freedom without censorship. With this wonderful freedom, the results artworks are uncompressed in the narrow corsets of political correctness.
So, the Festival is the perfect place to publicize risky films such as Pet, which won the award for best original screenplay, competing alongside with some of the most interesting films of the genre of fantasy films of this year.
We want to congratulate all the winners and we, at Dominians United, wish the team of Pet an enormous success worldwide.
Moreover, it’s official, the release of the movie has been announced for USA theaters on December 2. From here, we recommend that if this movie is projected in a cinema near you, do not hesitate to buy the ticket. Or pre-order on iTunes!
So, get ready to enjoy a great movie, with intense and deep characters and surprising script twists. Surely it will blow you away.
Pet IMBD: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1183374/
On Sitges Daily: http://sitgesfilmfestival.com/cat/diari_festival
In the edition of daily festival, on Tuesday, October 11 2016, there was a brief review of Pet.
In the edition of daily Festival on Wednesday October 12 2016, you can read an interesting interview with Carles Torrens, the director.
At the press conference, the most interesting points of the film are recounted. You can watch it complete below, with simultaneous translation.
Just look at the way he and Ksenia made photos at the beginning! so lovely!
SPOILER ALERT ABOUT MINUTE 33!
Basically, all the media speaks about the press conference. There are some photos inside, but all from the same moment.
Interview at Radio Cat 1: El món a RAC1, amb Jordi Basté.
Before the first screening of the film, Carles Torrens and Dominic Monaghan attended his first radio interview where they talked about the beginnings of the project, and told some interesting facts, without spoilers.
Here you can access the full interview directly: http://www.rac1.cat/
I listened in live streaming this first interview, where they spoke about very interesting things I didn’t know about Dominic and his career.
The interview begin with Carles Torrens, the young director of the film, and later, with Dominic, the main actor.
The interviewer said that he had seen the film and that he was impressed: “The film is esplendid”, he said! He didn’t wanted to spoil the film, and just gave a short summary like: Boy meets girls, he has a crush, she doesn’t care, and he grows more and more obsessed with her. In fact, this is a love story.
Carles Torrens said that Pet is the type of horror like films such as Hostel, Martirs, or something like that, and he called it “torture porn”. But, he wants to surprise us: The film should seem this kind of genre, but, in fact it’s not.
Sure there is blood in Pet, so this is a fantastic festival where zombies and monsters of any kind live, but the film really tells another story.
The director intentions was to make audience enjoy the film, not suffer it. It should be called a “black comedy of love”, defined by Carles Torrens himself.
By the way, blood is an element for love. There is something weird in this love, and it has an interesting twist here. (I’m not going to tell you it for now!). I only can tell you that the film is honest and frightening.
The director explained all the struggles he went through to finally film that story, because the script was owned by MGM and it was almost impossible. When Carles bought it, he made it with a low budget and a few weeks, like a group of friend could do.
The film releases 2 December in the US, and then, he doesn’t know. If it sells well, it will go ahead. If not, It will go to Netflix. There is no date to other countries.
The interviewer then turns his attention to Dominic, who commented that he is a great cinema lover. He reminded us that his brother lives in Barcelona, and that it’s difficult for him to go to the cinema. He says that surely, his little nephew prefers to see the films he loves in netflix, sitting at his sofa, comfortably at home, in pajamas with his teddy bear.
He spoke about Charlie: He said that the (awarded) screenwriter was inspired by this Lost character, and that he wrote it directly for Dom: He loved the way Charlie managed to be a good person, but by circumstances, he couldn’t be as good he wanted.
The screenwriter thought Dom was perfect for the role of Seth, because he knew that Dom can go from a nice guy to a terrible one, and this was the story he wanted to tell.
Later, they spoke about Dom’s TV show Wild Things, and Dom said that he keeps animals at home. You know, he is an animals lover! One of the most interesting things he said, was that he wants to change people’s mind to love not only dogs, and cats and ponies. All the animals are important. So he has at home the arquetypical animals that everybody fears: spiders, snakes and bees.
He also shows his forearm tatoo and the scar behind it. This was the bite of a monitor lizard.
BTW, he showed his recently operated foot, and his nails, painted with the Manchester United colours (we all know he’s an absolute United fanatic:You guessed!).
A funny thing about his foot painted nails was when Carles Torrent said: It happened that in one scene of Pet, Seth had to shower, and Dom’s feet where nail-painted. As Seth is not supposed to wear toes painted, they had to erase the nail paint in post-production. So funny! BTW, they were electric blue!
And those are some photos they took at the Radio interview.
Interview with El Cinèfil amb JR Armadàs
This interview is superb, one of the best he did at Sitges. He speaks sincerely about his career and future. It’s written in catalán. You have here, the link to the complete interview, and below, a translated extract. http://elcinefil.cat/2016/10/12/7142/
His is a familiar face. It is no less than a member of The Fellowship of the Ring, still looking like a friendly hobbit today. Dominic Monaghan has over twenty years dedicated to interpretation.
This October he has visited Catalonia with a “local” traveling companion: The Catalan director Carles Torrens who has directed the film Pet (which just premiered at the Sitges Festival) where he played a bored young man obsessed to extremes with a sickly ex-companion of school.
Let me start asking a question about language … Do you know what Pet means in Catalan?
No. Do you means how do they say “pet” in Catalan?
No, I mean that pet is what happens when you eat a lot of beans …
No way …
Yes … but you better talk about the film. This was a character that you pursued very much. What attracted you to a flat lonely boy?
He is an interesting guy … I like complex characters who are not what they seem. Seth is someone who is trying to be normal but he doesn’t know what normal is. This makes him suffer and makes it difficult for him to fit into society. No friends, no girlfriend and a dead end job at a kennel. He is angry and frustrated. This really gives him a lot to work with as an actor.
Do you like playing the bad boy?
I do not know if Seth is bad.
Man, kidnapping an old school acquaintance does not make him citizen of the year …
I always try to like my characters although they are bad. Seth was fun to play because he is a unique character.
Do you combine big Hollywood productions with European cinema on purpose?
For me there is not much of a difference because my job is the same. I like learning the scripts, I must say my sentences. It’s the same. In short: I act and I have done films that have cost a lot of money and others on a little budget. In my case I always try to do the best I can. So I do not make much distinction.
But European cinema and Hollywood are not the same. What differences do you see?
European cinema seems a little more artistic. The American cinema, unfortunately, seems to have faded to franchise superhero, sequel and … explosions, guns, girls kissing. I’ve grown up in European cinema and I feel European in this regard. Oh, and it also seems that in Europe there are fewer piles of money to make movies.
What do you think of Carles Torrens as a director?
He has a very artistic mind. He likes to add silences, atmosphere and nature. He wants to add the beautiful and the ugly things. The decisions made by the camera, the lens is … You can see he is someone who takes seriously what he does.
Let’s go to the past. Specifically to Middle-earth. To be a hobbit changed your life forever?
I think so. So my career was going in another direction and Lord of the Rings changed it completely. I grew up with the books because my father was a fan. He knew the name of Gandalf and Bilbo and it was a real honor to be part of that world for a while. I made many good friends and it was a fantastic experience that also took me to the cinema of the United States. And all played by a small Hobbit.
Is it annoying to always be reminded as Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry)?
No way! It doesn’t bother me. It will be an honor to the day I die and even then people will say “oh he was Merry in Lord of the Rings.” What I want, as an actor, is to thrill people, that they appreciate my work and come to see me. And you would agree that many people have seen Lord of the Rings.
You spent three years working on this project … It seems like a daunting task.
Of course. I do not think that will be happening again. It is not easy to find franchises like this and this is a period that I will always remember.
Tell me a good memory and a bad one from that time.
The best moments are the friends you make. This is for me the legacy of Lord of the Rings. Now I have a friend who is called Peter Jackson, one who’s name is Viggo Mortensen, another that is Elijah Wood… We experienced something together and we forged a friendship for life.
Do not forget the bad memories …
Mmmm … hangovers. Hobbits and beer … bad combination!
It was a period of a lot of alcohol in my life. But there is something else wrong. I fell of the horse a couple of times but it was fun and all. I was only 21 years old and two beautiful girls in New Zealand even broke my heart twice.
Now I look back the era of “The Lord of the Rings” and I think it was all very sweet.
And from Middle-earth, to stay lost on an island in Lost! From big project to big project.
The only reason I had a meeting with J.J. Abrams was because he was a big fan of the trilogy. At that time I was in the eye of the hurricane. People knew who I was, and I was desperate for a modern role, because Merry was someone who lived in a fantasy world far away thousands of years. I wanted to play someone who talks like me, who looked like me. In fact, at that time I was very similar to Charlie on Lost. I have a history with drugs and bad decisions … and fantasize with women and the wrong people. You know … wasting money on nonsense. Many of the things that happened to Charlie I already knew. I’ve fallen asleep in bars and woke up in very stranges places. I knew that and J.J. knew that I knew.
Do you look forward to returning to the TV?
I grew up doing Shakespeare on TV so I do not mind. I will go to projects based on their quality. If I read something I like I do it.
What do you search for in these scripts?
If the script is good you can build a project around it. I say no to large projects if the script is not good. It can give you a lot of money but if something sucks, it can end your career.
Would you return to a superhero franchise as you did with Wolverine Origins?
Depending on whether it is good. I enjoyed a lot the Nolan Batman, and new Spiderman … So it depends. I always need a good story and a good director to make a good performance.
Do you have a goal to get as an actor?
So back to the beginning, as a Pet character’s Seth, my family and friends do not recognize me. I’m lost in my character and I like that. I want to continue exploring that. I want to make films with a message, with social repercussions. I want to work with great actors. De Niro, Pacino, Christopher Walken, Meryl Steep … And I still have a lot of directors to discover. I hope to work soon with Duncan Jones and would love to do something with Darren Aronofsky. I have been acting for 22 years and I feel that I have just begun.
Hotel Melià Sitges
In the Melia Sitges hotel where they conducted interviews, press conferences and events.
The first appearance of Pet team, formed by Carles Torrens, Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo, on Tuesday 11, the second day of screening of the film at the Festival photocall.
There was also time for fun, and to make contact with other participants in this great festival, in the Bacardi Party that was held Thursday night.