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Drama Movies

December 26 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter

"Character and a world of its own, those are the things that are most important in any picture, that it takes you into a world of its own that is palpable in some way, that you can practically smell. The same thing with characters, they're not a stock, off-the-shelf item, they're unpredictable and ephemeral and interesting and unique." Filmmaker Carroll Ballard

Ballard's first feature "The Black Stallion" certainly illustrates the two characteristics he deems most important in a film. It creates a world of its own and has vivid characters, one of which is a horse.

The grace, power, beauty, and movement of the horse are made for the camera. With that in mind, I am starting a special series on the Drama Movies site - The Horse in Cinema. I am reviewing two of the films that I watched with my nephew when he was a child ("The Black Stallion" and "Into the West"), although both function as adult fare as well. I will also be discussing the symbolism and mythology associated with horses, and the association between horses and the American West.

By coincidence, I am currently reading "Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary", by Joe Jackson. The horse, once introduced to North America, revolutionized the life of the Sioux (to which Black Elk belonged). In Jackson's words, "the horse symbolized a powerful fundamental spiritual force" for the Lakota nation. That intangible spiritual force is what I think Ballard captured so well in "The Black Stallion".

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

The Black Stallion Film Review
This adaptation of Walter Farley's "The Black Stallion" is a stunning visual achievement. Kelly Reno stars as the boy shipwrecked with an Arabian horse. The two creatures form an unbreakable bond in a timeless classic directed by Carroll Ballard.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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