The Power of Words, and Continuity

7th May 2009

From an interview with Argentine director Lucrecia Martel in Bomb Magazine:

“It doesn’t matter how real or true the facts are; the issue is how something that somebody says is transformed into something that will change the world… I can say something—it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not—but your reaction and the emotion it generates within you are real. It happens a lot in lovers’ quarrels, where people say things that they probably don’t even mean, but once stated, they are reacted to as if they are true. It is actually the person being spoken to who gives these words their power.”

“In Salta, repeating the lives of others is a goal. Establishing continuity gives security and prestige: the doctor who has a son who is a doctor, and who uses his father’s office.”

10 thoughts on “The Power of Words, and Continuity

  1. sevedra

    For me, that first quote is very powerful. I have learned the hard way to weigh my own words before letting them pass my lips. And I alrady knew from experience how other’s words affected me. To see it put so baldly though, that is very confirming for me.

  2. Shnerfle

    Ooh, there it went! 3rd try!

    I was trying to say that I love the idea of the first quote, that power is in receiving and creating our own meaning, that once the words leave our lips, they are no longer under our control. The second quote just rankles, though. I’m far to American to give up my right to spite my parents.

  3. Words Seduce

    Wow that’s a really amazing quote. I always had that conflict in my head about how things that were not true could have such an impact. I think i understand better now. :)

  4. Danny

    As an ex-pat Argentine, I would like to thank you for not calling the director “Argentinean.” God bless you. Really.

  5. wendy

    Martel’s film La Ciénaga is on my top-10 list. Even just the trailer is a sort of masterpiece to me. It’s sticky and lazy and about families and teenagers and class and….I don’t know. It’s very atmospheric and fantastic.

  6. dani

    That reminds me of something I read years ago (can’t remember where it was) – something like “The phrase son-of-a-bitch” is only offensive to someone who thinks his mom is a bitch.” Also why it’s so ridiculous that instead of saying a swear word people will substitute it with thinks like “frack.” It means the same thing!

  7. roxanne

    I was thinking that Oliver Stone would love that quote. Referencing JFK specifically… Also Michael More…

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