Agustí Villaronga (1953-January 22, 2023)
Spanish director dies at age 69. Villaronga broke onto the International scene with his soul-shattering debut feature In a Glass Cage, a twisted tale about the seductive power of evil. An ex-Nazi doctor named Klaus with a history of violent acts of sadomasochism and murder against children lives in relative anonymity in post-War Spain, continuing his acts of cruelty against children. A former now teenage aged victim named Angelo catches up to Klaus, who is left paralyzed and on a life support system after a failed suicide attempt. Angelo is hired as his live-in nurse, and is drawn to both enacting revenge on Klaus but also assuming his role as torturer. Villaronga never quite scaled the heights of his debut, but made many solid films, often dealing with the Spanish Civil War or psychic and supernatural phenomena, such as 99.99 (1997), El Mar (2000), Black Bread (2010), poverty in 1990s Havana (The King of Havana, 2015). His last film was the 2021 shipwreck adventure In The Belly of the Sea, loosely based on the historical tragedy of the French frigate Méduse, which became grounded on the Bank of Arguin on July 2, 1816.