Under the Radar Film Series: La Ciénaga

Main Library

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  • La Ciénaga

Don’t miss the opportunity to see amazing films that missed a popular release on the big screen. Typically shown only in art-house cinemas, or older, lesser-known films, this film series provides the chance to see a broad array of cinematic delights that you may have missed.

La Ciénaga (2001, Rated R) takes place in the small provincial town of Salta, Argentina. Mecha and Gregorio, together with their teenage children, spend their summers in their rural shabby country home to avoid the hot and humid weather of the city. Mecha, a middle-aged woman in her 50s, and Gregorio, eager to remain looking young, take to drinking to cope with day-to-day life.

Mecha's cousin Tali lives in the nearby city of La Ciénaga (The Swamp) and has a brood of small, noisy children and a husband, Rafael. Before long, the crowded domestic situation in both homes and the sweltering summer heat and humidity strain the families' nerves, exposing repressed family mysteries and tensions that threaten to erupt into violence.

The film creates a poignant vision of modern-day social malaise. The steamy ambiance in which the characters fester serves as a metaphor for creeping social decay.

Guest Host Chris Lippard will give a brief introduction to the film, and conduct a discussion and Q&A session following the screening. Lippard is an Associate Professor in the Film & Media Arts Department at the University of Utah, and teaches Introduction to Film, Film History, and World Cinema courses. He is currently working on a Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema.

Chris Lippard earned his B.A. at the University of Sheffield, England, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is the editor of By Angels Driven: The Cinema of Derek Jarman, and has published work on Jorge Sanjines, Abbas Kiarostami and F.W. Murnau. He specializes in Middle Eastern, African, South American and British film; film as dream and memory; and representations of urban space.

Under the Radar Film Series is presented with support from the Utah Film Center and the Salt Lake Film Society.


Thu, Sep 12, 7pm, Jans B. Wager presents Out of the Past
Thu, Oct 10, 7pm Kent Maxwell presents The Screaming Men
Thu, Nov 7, 7pm Chris Lippard presents La Ciénaga
Thu, Dec 12, 6:30pm Stephen Simmons presents Wake in Fright

Location: Main Library Auditorium

Contact Information: (801) 524-8200