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Drama Movies

November 30 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter

"[Music is] something essential: for me, it's the heart and soul of the film."
Director Nils Gaup

Gaup directed this week's featured film, "The Last King". The story is set in the year 1204 and the soundtrack's composer Gaute Storaas makes use of 13th century Norwegian instruments such as the nyckelharpa and the bukkehorn.

The emphasis Gaup places on music is interesting because while I was watching "The Last King", I thought it would almost work better as a silent film. The visuals really tell the story and Gaup uses music throughout, the way silent film images are accompanied by music. Mary Pickford once observed that it would have made more sense if sound films had come first, and then evolved into silent films. I think she considered silent films "pure cinema" and sound as an impediment to the beauty of film. I don't place the two mediums in a type of hierarchy, but I do wish they could co-exist. Certain stories work better without dialogue and it would be nice if directors still had the choice to work that way.

The Independent Spirit Award nominations for 2017 were announced last week. Films made with a budget of less than $20 million dollars are eligible. In the Best International Film category, Greek writer/director Athina Rachel Tsangari was nominated for "Chevalier". The story concerns a group of men on a luxury fishing trip who create a competitive game to decide who is the "best". I did not review the film, but would recommend it. The cast is all-male, but women can still recognize some of the group dynamics at play (which Tsangari skewers for laughs). "Chevalier" is available on DVD and online.

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

The Last King Film Review
A 13th century tale with biblical overtones, "The Last King" is actually based on true events that are commemorated in Norway even today. Two loyal soldiers brave the elements and enemy forces as they protect Norway's child heir to the throne.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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