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TIFF presents Álex de la Iglesia: Dancing with the Devil

Álex de la Iglesia: Dancing with the Devil

Over the past twenty years, Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia has established himself as one of the foremost cult filmmakers working in the horror genre. Iglesia’s films perversely blend horror and comedy in an entirely unique fashion. To honour the Midnight Madness favourite, TIFF is presenting Dancing With the Devil, a retrospective of Iglesia’s most beloved films. Here are some of the films to look forward to over the next few weeks.



Opening the retrospective is Iglesia’s sophomore feature THE DAY OF THE BEAST. The film follows Cura (Alex Angulo), a priest on a mission to summon the devil. Cura believes that the antichrist will be born in just a few days, and must communicate with the devil, in order to stop the birth. He enlists the help of heavy metal enthusiast Jose (Santiago Segura) and a TV psychic (Armando De Razza). As time runs out, Cura will stop at nothing to communicate with the Lord of Darkness.


In 1997, Iglesia made his English language debut with PERDITA DURANGO. The film is based on a novel by Barry Gifford, who wrote the source material of David Lynch’s WILD AT HEART and co-wrote LOST HIGHWAY with Lynch. In 1990, the character of Perdita Durango appeared in WILD AT HEART as played by Isabella Rossellini, while in Iglesia’s film she is played by Rosie Perez. Perdita and her lover Romeo (Javier Bardem) kidnap a teenage couple and plan to sacrifice them in this over-the-top romp.


Iglesia’s 2000 feature stars Pedro Almodovar favourite Carmen Maura as real-estate agent Julia. After moving into a new apartment, Julia discovers a bag of cash, which belonged to the deceased tenant who lived there before her. Unfortunately for Julia, her neighbours have been looking for that money for years, and have just discovered that she has found it.



Iglesia’s latest narrative feature closed TIFF’s Midnight Madness section at the 2013 festival to great acclaim. The ultimate battle of the sexes follows a group of male thieves on the run after committing a heist. After getting lost in the countryside, the men find themselves captured by a coven of witches. Maura appears once again as the head of the coven, in what is perhaps her most eccentric performance since her last Almodovar appearance in the 2006 film VOLVER.

Álex de la Iglesia: Dancing with the Devil runs from January 30 to March 28.

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