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Drama Movies

May 22 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter

"I went to the movies a lot. Paris was a great place to be a cinephile. I never thought I wanted to make films. But I remember, the first time something happened and it was very important for me to tell a story, it came through the form of film. It was literally an epiphany. I was studying literature and African history. There was this film school called La Fémis in France that I was told of. It’s very competitive to get in. I thought, Oh, this is my spot. It may feel arrogant, but for me, you can be born an actor, and I think you can also be born a director. I felt really very strongly that that was my language."
Deniz Gamze Erguven ("Vogue" interview - November 13th, 2015)

Erguven was born in Turkey, but spent much of her childhood in France due to her father's diplomatic career. She currently resides in Paris, but chose to return to Turkey for her first feature film. The title, "Mustang", refers to the wild horse that roams the American West. After watching the film, I also thought of the iconic Ford Mustang, definitely the coolest car my parents ever owned. The automobile, like the horse, is a symbol of freedom. In the film, Lale surreptitiously learns to drive as a means to escape her imprisonment. Something about America fascinates Erguven and her next film is set in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots, and will star Halle Berry.

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up today and as usual, there are plenty of complaints about the awards selection. The jury at Cannes was headed by "Mad Max" director George Miller and actors Donald Sutherland, Mads Mikkelsen, Kirsten Dunst, Valeria Golina, and Vanessa Paradis were among his fellow jurors. The top prize, the Palme d'Or, went to the British film, "I, Daniel Blake", directed by Ken Loach. This is Loach's second Palme d'Or and some critics think he was honored for his choice of subject matter, economic disparity, rather than cinematic excellence.

American director Andrea Arnold scored with her film, "American Honey", winning the Jury Prize. The road movie follows a group of teenagers selling magazine subscriptions and stars Sasha Lane and Shia Labeouf. As I noted in the forum, "Captain Fantastic" screened in the sidebar competition, Un Certain Regard, and won a best director prize for Matt Ross.

Woody Allen's film, "Cafe Society", ran out of competition. Apparently a good thing, since the film received a lukewarm response. Sean Penn's film, "The Last Face" ran in competition but has been massacred by the press since its premiere. The "Los Angeles Times" critic called the film "dreadful, but dreadfully entertaining". Charlize Theron, who stars along with Javier Bardem, was once engaged to Penn and the photos of them at Cannes are very awkward, indeed.

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

Mustang Film Review
An Academy Award Nominee in 2016 for Best Foreign Language Film, "Mustang" is the feature debut of writer/director Deniz Gamze Erguven. Five orphaned sisters in a Turkish village rebel against the restrictions placed on their lives.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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