HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Zama Frown Argentine Way
Year: 2018
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín, Nahuel Cano, Mariana Nunes, Carlos Defeo, Rafael Spregelburd, Carlos Cano, Jorge Román, Gustavo Böhm, Massamba Seye, Germán de Silva, Vicenzo Navarro Rindel, Dolores Ocampo
Genre: Drama, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) stands on the shore on the coast of South America and looks out to sea, lost in contemplation as the natives attend to their chores further down the beach. He has been assigned as Governor to this part of the Continent by his Spanish masters in the Government, and the feelings of power he should have enjoyed have been gradually - or maybe not so gradually - been replaced by a boredom that has settled in his bones and leaves him desperately wishing to be sent to Spain where he can join his family. However, the nation needs its empty leaders for empty leadership positions, and it doesn't look like he'll be leaving anytime soon...

Zama was director Lucrecia Martel's first film in nine years, one which met with plenty of critical acclaim but a divided response from the selected moviegoers who decided to give this a go based on those positive notices. Martel's style was slow and deliberate, so that every ounce of her protagonist's predicament was inescapable for us watching: we could feel the tedium in a place that, now it had been conquered, nobody in the ranks of the conquerors knew what to do with. It was as if the colonial countries continued expanding their influence on land and sea not for any great glory or power, but because by this stage they were mostly doing it for the sake of the conquest itself.

Now you've taken over, what precisely are you going to do? That was the query pressing down on the likes of Zama, who has risen to the status of a man of means, one who can decide the fate of thousands, yet when it comes down to it his meaning and worth are purely decorative as it's apparent nobody back in Spain gives a shit what he gets up to as long as they can claim the region he presides over for the King, who has likely only heard of his area in passing. Especially since nothing of any significance ever happens there - or nothing of significance to men like Zama, who looks increasingly ridiculous for clinging on to any hope he has any sort of importance beyond the title.

All very well, but you had the measure of Zama within the first ten minutes, which could be a good thing as Martel had sketched him in very successfully, yet also a bad thing since it seemed as if, like the Governor, she had nowhere to go with him. This was based on a novel from the fifties that was popular in her native Argentina, and thanks to her usual targets being the Argentinian middle class (of which she was a member, so knew of which she spake) it looked like she was tracing what she regarded as their corruption, hypocrisy and complacency back to their roots in seventeenth century colonialism. Not the first film, television programme or book to examine the world's colonial past this century, as it was a growing obsession with creatives looking for subject matter, though that cultural guilt too often had the colonisers the focus.

That was kind of the case here, though largely so Martel could send Zama up something rotten, for instance giving him blue balls that he cannot salve when no woman wants to sleep with him, no white woman anyway (Lola Duenas played the flirty noblewoman he uselessly lusted after) as we discover he has fathered a toddler with one of the native women, which makes him the object of a whispering campaign he can do nothing to stop. Just when you thought, all right Lucrecia, we get the message, the secondary plot appeared where after being thwarted in his desire to return to Spain, he opted to hunt down a fugitive instead, not a great idea as it turned out. This far out of his "comfort" zone that he was never comfortable in anyway, he is a fish out of water and a twist sends him ever further up the creek as the locals assert themselves in a manner their quiet but insistent presence has been indicating if you've paid attention. The first shot and the last shot are undeniably beautiful; but Martel purposefully found little else as aesthetically captivating in this history.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 911 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: