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Drama Movies

July 3 2018 Drama Movies Newsletter

"I think that in order the realize the artistic possibilities of film, you've got to be in tune with the social and political realities of the times...This is why I'm attracted to scripts inspired by true stories. When you stop retreading the conventional fairy tales--when you quit with the fairy tales entirely--you make better art. You also make people a little nervous." Christine Vachon from her book "A Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond"

I'm in the middle of reading producer Christine Vachon's book. She is the founder of Killer Films and her list of credits is really impressive. "One Hour Photo", "Carol", "Wonderstruck", "Far From Heaven", and "Beatriz at Dinner": to name only a few of the films she has produced. Vachon is known for championing edgy content and her movies often feature unconventional protagonists. Among her films currently in pre-production are "The Sound of Philadelphia", a crime drama starring Matthias Schoenaerts and "Monica", a drama about a transgender woman from Italian director Andrea Pallaoro.

Filmmakers Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov are also inspired by true stories when crafting their films. I gave their first feature "The Lesson" a positive review on the Drama Movies Site, and I think their second release "Glory" shows an increased sophistication in their technique. I normally abhor the onscreen use of cell phones, but Grozeva and Valchanov integrate it so well into the story that the forward momentum of the film is not hampered. The way Julia, who does public relations for a corrupt government minister, uses two phones in the middle of a doctor visit is both comical and illuminating. The performance by the male lead, Stefan Denolyubov, is astounding and his character is the exact opposite of the sleazy loan shark he played in "The Lesson".

For my documentary pick this week, I recommend "Brimstone and Glory" from German director Viktor Jakovleski. You can watch it for free this month on PBS.org/POV.
Jakovleski traveled to Tultepec, the fireworks capitol of Mexico. They have a festival celebrating The Day of the Bull that has to be seen to be believed. Papier mache bulls are paraded through the streets and when darkness falls, the floats are set ablaze with fireworks. People dance in the sparks and fire as if in a modern-day pagan ritual. Injuries are commonplace and even welcomed. The photography is outstanding and the music is a perfect complement to the visual images.

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

Glory (2016) Film Review
No good deed goes unpunished in the second feature from writer-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. A humble railway worker's troubles begin when he recovers a bundle of cash and is labeled a hero by the state.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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