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Drama Movies

January 24 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter

"I resent the idea that someone says about the film, 'If only the dialogue had been more concise, if only the dialogue could have reached some conclusion.' Some critic said that, and I laughed when I looked at it, because I feel those kinds of scenes are very corny and boring to watch, when the words are right on the nose and they're no fun for an actor to play. What happens in family relationships, if you were really to ever put a tape recorder to your emotions - forget about what's being said! Most of the arguments between men and women are based upon somebody's inability to express what they really mean." Filmmaker John Cassavetes on his film "A Woman Under the Influence"

I watched "Mademoiselle Chambon" (2009), directed and co-written by Stephane Brize, this week. Brize's work reminds me of Cassavetes, something I discussed in my review of Brize's "The Measure of a Man". Like Cassavetes, Brize is sometimes criticized for the stillness and inexpressive dialogue in his films. His choice of actors, therefore, is crucial in making the intention (and emotion) of his characters perceptible to the viewer.

Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain play the two leads in "Mademoiselle Chambon", and their backstory is as interesting as the film. Lindon and Kiberlain were married for a decade and have a child. They divorced shortly before Lindon accepted the role in "Mademoiselle Chambon". Brize searched for an actress to play the female lead, but ultimately decided the best choice was Kiberlain. Lindon, at first, was hesitant but decided to trust his director (they worked together previously on "A Few Hours of Spring"). The resulting film is a delicate and poignant love story and if the two actors had any difficulty working together, the discord is not discernible onscreen.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Oscar nominations that were announced this morning. No big surprises in any of the categories. I admit that I have not seen "La La Land" yet, which garnered a whopping 14 nominations. I disliked Damien Chazelle's first film, "Whiplash", in a major way and have not been able to convince myself to see his second feature. The forum is open for anyone who has seen the film and would like to comment. In the Foreign Language category, I was happy to see Denmark nominated for the second year in a row (for WWII drama "Land of Mine"). Australia also garnered its first ever nomination in this category for "Tanna".

Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.

Haunted Screens - German Expressionism in Film
German Expressionist films, produced between 1913 and 1933, influenced American film noir and continue to inspire filmmakers, including Tim Burton and Ridley Scott. I attended a museum exhibit that featured set designs and production stills from films such as "Metropolis" and "Nosferatu".


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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