Director Guillermo Arriaga is returning to Oregon, where he filmed “The Burning Plain” in Portland and Coos Bay in 2008. The film featured Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence in her first starring role, alongside Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. At the Bijou Cinemas and Northwest Film Center, Arriaga will present The Burning Plain and, only at the Bijou, the film he wrote and Tommy Lee Jones directed, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005). While in Oregon, Arriaga will also give the Bartolomé de las Casas Lecture in Latin American Studies at the UO and a public talk at the Oak Hill School.
Cosponsored with the Consulate General of Mexico, the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, the Oregon Humanities Center, International Affairs, MEChA of UO, and the Northwest Film Center.
Arriaga made his directorial debut with The Burning Plain (2009), set and largely filmed in Portland, Oregon. At the Venice Film Festival where it premiered, the film received a standing ovation and the Marcello Mastroianni Award for, in her first featured role, an eighteen-year-old actress named Jennifer Lawrence.
The film is beautifully shot by the great cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood). Arriaga’s intricate writing weaves together the intercut storylines in a continuously dramatic fashion. The Burning Plain’s fragmented approach to storytelling may require viewers to put the pieces together themselves, but this work is amply rewarded.