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Drama Movies

August 7 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter

"It wasn't macho masculinity. It wasn't stupid masculinity. I think he was pretty true to himself and carved out a way to be in the world that made sense to him, you know. He wasn't trying to prove anything to anybody." Actor Ed Harris on writer-actor Sam Shepard

Shepard's acting style is related to Harris's observation that Shepard had nothing to prove. On-screen, it never appeared that Shepard was trying too hard or was looking to upstage his co-stars. In fact, he often cut lines of dialogue from his scripts; paring down his speech to the bare essentials. Although his best roles came early in his career ("Frances", "Country", "The Right Stuff"), he did have a few interesting parts later in life. This summer, I have reviewed two of the films that illustrate the point. Although, when I wrote about "Thunderheart", I had no idea that Shepard was close to death. Ed Harris, in the same interview referenced above, stated that Shepard kept his diagnosis private until the physical symptoms made his illness undeniable. Shepard kept writing until the end, however, publishing his novel "The One Inside" earlier this year.

In something of a coincidence, producer Harvey Weinstein published an article today arguing that Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller deserves an honorary Oscar. In last week's newsletter, I mentioned Wertmuller as the first woman to receive a directing nomination when I was discussing Italian directors Valeria Golino and Laura Bispuri. Weinstein writes, "At a time when we’re finally starting to universally celebrate the contributions of female directors, and fight back against the outrageous lack of their representation, it’s necessary that we take time to honor a trailblazer like Lina Wertmuller. She is and was a fearless visionary in a time where women had to fight tooth and nail to even be in the same room as their male contemporaries. As Sophia [Loren] said, she was a pioneer for both her gender and the art of filmmaking as a whole."

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

Sam Shepard and Cold in July Film Review
"Cold in July" is a dark, heart-pounding thriller that also features Sam Shepard in one of his final roles. Michael C. Hall and Don Johnson co-star.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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