La Cienaga 2001
Everything and nothing happens in La Cienaga, the debut feature from Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman). Spanning the space of one aimless summer, this avant-garde drama captures the boredom and the heat for one extended family forced together by circumstance as life changes and petty concerns swirl all about.

The translation of the title is "The Swamp", and there may be no better word to describe the sticky bog that creeps over its characters' ankles, literally and metaphorically. Even the narrative stalls out in the muck: Save for the alarming events that bookend the film, nothing much happens beyond suggestion and observation, apart from a steady, patient accumulation of minor details. With an anthropologist's eye for behavior, Martel plants her camera in a crowded bourgeois estate in northwestern Argentina and watches the decaying lives of two families rotting in a provincial backwater. Echoes of Luis Bunuel's social comedies are unmistakable, but Martel examines the situation from a greater remove, relying mainly on subtle touches in the framing and on the dense soundtrack. In that sense, La Cienaga could be called a pointillist movie, with all the pleasures and frustrations that description implies.

Director: Lucrecia Martel
Cast: Mercedes Moran, Graciela Borges, Martin Adjemian, Leonora Balcarce, Silvia Bayle, Sofia Bertolotto, Juan Cruz Bordeu, Noelia Bravo Herrera, Maria Micol Ellero
Country: Argentina, France, Spain, Japan
Genre: Comedy, Drama

BD50, DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:41:00 | 38.5 Gb, 7.39 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Espanol
Subtitles: English


Lucrecia Martel - in this video program, director Lucrecia Martel explains how her relationship with religion evolved while growing up, and discusses the lasting impact her grandmother's horror stories had on her, the unusual structure of La Cienaga and the film's ability to submerge its audience into a different reality/state of mind, the sound events in it, etc. The program was produced exclusively for Criterion in the fall of 2014. In Spanish and Portuguese, with optional English subtitles. (19 min, 1080p).

Andres Di Tella - in this video interview, director, writer, and Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema cofounder Andres Di Tella discusses Lucrecia Martel's directing style, some of the recurring themes in her films, the key difference between the New Argentine Cinema (which emerge during the early '90s) and the films from the desaparecidos (the military dictatorship era), the use of language in La Cienaga, the massive script for the film, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in April 2014. In English, not subtitled. (24 min, 1080p).

Trailer - original trailer for La Cienaga. In Spanish, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, 1080i).

DVD5 | PAL 16:9 | 01:36:00 | 4.00 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Espanol
Subtitles: English

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