La Ciénaga

Overview

Two families try to make the best of a bad situation as they suffer through a crippling heat wave in this neo-realistic drama, featuring a primarily non-professional cast. Tali Mercedes Moran is minding four small children with little help from her husband, who is preoccupied with the opening of hunting season, as a record hot spell grips Argentina. Things aren't much better for her cousin Mecha Graciela Borges, who is looking after four teenagers and a husband Martin Adjemian who can hardly be bothered to help ...
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Overview

Two families try to make the best of a bad situation as they suffer through a crippling heat wave in this neo-realistic drama, featuring a primarily non-professional cast. Tali Mercedes Moran is minding four small children with little help from her husband, who is preoccupied with the opening of hunting season, as a record hot spell grips Argentina. Things aren't much better for her cousin Mecha Graciela Borges, who is looking after four teenagers and a husband Martin Adjemian who can hardly be bothered to help out, but Mecha does have a pool, even if it hasn't been cleaned in quite a while. Tali and her brood end up spending much of the summer with Mecha as the town is riveted by the appearance of the Virgin Carmen on the city's water tower, and a series of thunderstorms add an awful humidity to the summer's unbearable heat. While seemingly improvised, La Cienaga was actually carefully scripted by Lucrecia Martel, who won a screenwriting award at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival prior to making her directorial debut with this feature.
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Special Features

Digital transfer enhanced for 16:9 televisions; Rey Muerto, Lucrecia Martel's award winning short film; Director's statement; Original theatrical trailer; Liner notes by film professor, critic and cultural commentator B. Ruby Rich
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A sober portrait of middle-class torpor and decadence, Lucrecia Martel's debut feature covers well-trod ground, but she gives the material her own imprimatur. Set in present-day Argentina, La Cienaga offers a snapshot of a culture stuck in a sweltering rut. The movie tells the story of two families' summer holiday, spent in a decaying estate in the mountains. Physical details accumulate: the insistent clinking of ice cubes in glasses, the scrape of metal chairs on a concrete patio, people splayed in beds trying to sleep through the humidity. Martel's knack for establishing tactile hyper-reality is almost too much -- this sticky, sweaty film can be off-puttingly palpable. Heightening the uneasy mood is the movie's busy sound design, which itself is amplified by the absence of a musical score. For U.S. audiences unfamiliar with contemporary Argentine culture, there is much in the film that is revelatory, such as a glimpse of that society's dysfunctional class dynamics and tortured race relations. Familiar though its targets and lessons may be, the movie is of a piece and has its own distinctive feel. Its occasional heavy-handedness and a needlessly reproachful ending aside, La Cienaga unfolds with an assurance that belies Martel's inexperience, and signals the emergence of a new talent in world cinema.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2005
  • UPC: 037429203828
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Graciela Borges
Martin Adjemian
Juan Cruz Bordeu
Daniel Valenzuela
Technical Credits
Lucrecia Martel Director, Screenwriter
Guido Berenblum Sound/Sound Designer
Hugo Colacce Cinematographer
Jose Maria Morales Co-producer
Christina Nigro Set Decoration/Design
Graciela Oderigo Art Director
Santiago Ricci Editor
Lita Stantic Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Afternoon Malaise [:23]
2. Fractured Family [9:08]
3. Class Lines [6:56]
4. Country Visit [6:56]
5. African Rat [7:37]
6. Mecha's Room [4:20]
7. The Dance [9:02]
8. Danger Lurking [6:42]
9. Fish Stew [7:26]
10. Discontent [4:08]
11. Domestic Politics [8:14]
12. Returning [7:09]
13. School Supplies [3:14]
14. Isabel's Departure [6:30]
15. Fate [3:29]
16. End Credits [4:58]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Extras
      Rey Muerto
         Play
      Director's Statement
      Original Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      On
      Off
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