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La Cienaga back to product details

A b u r r i d i s i m o ! ! !
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written by HPearson October 20, 2007 - 8:30 AM PDT
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I rented this film because I love Argentina (I lived there for a while and my fiance is Argentine), and in general I have loved the Argentine cinema I've seen. But this movie is just downright boring. I sat there for an hour and a half waiting for something to happen.....and nothing ever did. Don't waste your time!

Real People, Argentine Style
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written by talltale March 3, 2005 - 5:33 PM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Imagine you are a houseguest in the home of a large extended family and that you know only one of its members slightly. But here you are, nonetheless, spending a weekend among people with whom you have little connection. So you learn about them bit by bit, overhearing snippets of dialog, seeing them eat, drink (a lot), connect, fight, and have (very little) fun--but you never quite know the full story or extent of these "connections." Yet the people and the place are strangely fascinating. They pull you in and hold your attention so that, slowly, you do learn. This is how writer/director Lucrecia Martel has designed her movie LA CIENAGA, and it's a masterful piece of filmmaking. It may bring to mind the plays of Anton Chekhov in the way its ruling-class characters are so stationary and clueless, and how the viewer comes slowly to discern relationships.

The country here is Argentina, and the people are the bourgeoisie (along with their Indian servants, whom they force into an unhealthily symbiotic relationship). Racism is rife and thoughtless--unpleasant enough as done by the old folk, and even worse when the children exercise it. It's been awhile since I have seen a movie that offers so little exposition; you really have to watch, listen and wait until things clarify (only a portion of them ever do). I suspect that this film must have upset Argentines terribly--divided them in two by holding so boldly its mirror up to society's face. The actors do a fine job of creating characters who are real, mostly unlikable but not easily dismissed. If I were Argentine, I would understand more of what is going on here; as it is, "La Cienaga" is still a movie I'll remember for a long while.

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(Average 6.72)
18 Votes
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