alr

The Weight of Water

Screening on Film
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
With Sean Penn, Sarah Poiley, Josh Lucas.
US, 2000, 35mm, color, 113 min.
Print source: Swank

Approaching the melodrama with the same deconstructive impulse Bigelow usually applies to action genres, The Weight of Water interweaves two parallel stories from a century apart—a present day story of sexual tension, jealousy and bitterness envenoming two couples and a period tale of a double murder driven by the same emotions. Bigelow characteristically heightens ambivalences inherent in the genre at hand, mounting the psychosexual tension between affection and rivalry, identification and competition traditional to melodrama, only in this case among women rather than men. One of Bigelow’s most intricate and ambitious films, The Weight of Water adds a more metaphysical dimension to the vein of dark fatalism that runs throughout her work.

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Kathryn Bigelow –
Filmmaking at the Dark Edge of Exhilaration

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