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Drama Movies

October 20 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter

“I learned early on that war forms its own culture. The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one I ingested for many years. It is peddled by mythmakers—historians, war correspondents, filmmakers, novelists, and the state—all of whom endow it with qualities it often does possess: excitement, exoticism, power, chances to rise above our small stations in life, and a bizarre and fantastic universe that has a grotesque and dark beauty.” Chris Hedges from his book “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning”

I reread sections of "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" after watching "A Perfect Day", starring Tim Robbins and Benecio Del Toro as foreign aid workers in the Balkans. The film is set in 1995, towards the end of the armed conflict in that region. Chris Hedges was reporting from Sarajevo during the same time frame.

Hedges, in his book, does a better job of conveying the allure and absurdity of war than director Fernando Leon De Aranoa does in "A Perfect Day". Tim Robbins and Benecio Del Toro work well together on-screen, but the script doesn't require much more of them. Leon De Aranoa relies on an edgy soundtrack (that includes Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson, and X) to provide the energy and emotion that should be generated by the story. Actor Fedja Stukan (who is from Sarajevo) is worth watching as the one character who is genuinely at risk from the work he is doing. Unlike his fellow aid workers, he does not have the luxury of escaping the conflict at will.

Leon De Aranoa's next project is "Escobar", starring Javier Bardem (whom he directed in "Mondays in the Sun") and Penelope Cruz. Cruz plays journalist Virginia Vallejo, who became romantically involved with the notorious druglord and wrote about her experience in a book titled "Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar". The film recently added Peter Sarsgaard to the cast and is set for a 2017 release.

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

Weiner Film Review
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, "Weiner" documents the former congressman's attempt to overcome a sexting scandal and redeem himself by running for mayor of New York City.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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