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Drama Movies

July 27 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter

"For me, a film is not just storytelling but an attempt for me to share some perceptions with the viewer. A film for me is a mechanism to show thought, but I interpret thought as a mix of perception and emotion. In the world of cinema, in particular of cinema students and writers, there’s this idea that cinema is about storytelling. I don’t share that view. I believe that cinema is a lot more than that; I believe that storytelling is just the starting point; it’s like a device you use to share a lot more than the story itself." Filmmaker Lucrecia Martel

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 92 new directors to join its organization in June, and Lucrecia Martel is one of them. Martel was born in Salta, Argentina and her films are rooted in the geography and culture of her native land.

Much has been written about "La Cienaga", her feature film debut. I tried not to duplicate what has already been said in my review this week. So, I did not write about the use of water as a symbol, or the palpable sense of heat that emanates from the images.

Martel is familiar with the work of American independent director John Cassavetes (1929-1989), and her philosophy regarding cinema is analogous to the way Cassavetes regarded film. Both directors disregard conventional structure. The rhythm and length of specific scenes is dependent upon the characters' emotions and relationships. Neat and convenient resolutions are non-existent. Both directors require their viewers to be active participants in the construction of meaning emerging from the images they present.

I decided to create a new subject category to fit films like "La Cienaga". You will now find the heading "Domestic Dramas" on the main page. These films are not tame, but they are centered around one specific household or family. Also, I changed the Editor's Picks so that all ten of the films listed are directed by women. I will occasionally rotate the titles as I add more reviews to the site. I hope you find these changes make the site more user-friendly. As always, you are welcome to comment on the Drama Movies Forum.

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

La Cienaga Film Review
Lucrecia Martel, leading light of the New Argentine Cinema, burst onto the international scene with her startling debut feature, "La Cienaga". Combining autobiographical elements and a keen ear for dialogue, Martel depicts a family in crisis.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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