Women Cinematographers: Our Review of ‘Thursday Till Sunday’

Posted in What's Streaming? by - March 08, 2024
Women Cinematographers: Our Review of ‘Thursday Till Sunday’

Parents are difficult to understand, regardless of how old one is or what country they live in. Dominga Sotomayor’s 2012 film Thursday Till Sunday shows that that adage is similar in Chile, the film’s setting. Lucia’s (Santi Ahumada) parents are strangers to her now, especially during this long weekend road trip to nowhere. Her father (Francisco Pérez-Bannen) does things like pick up hitchhikers, which makes her mother Ana (Paola Giannini) feel a slight annoyance. He also accidentally hurts Ana, which adds to the tension within a marriage on the brink. The disconnect between Lucia’s child world and the adult world becomes more apparent as her family meets another.

I’m making this film seem like it has more high drama than it actually does, but in fairness, this is a film where a lot of things bubble up to the surface. This film also belongs to MUBI’s retrospective on women cinematographers, so this is a good time to focus on its visuals. I give this film a lot of credit for adding some dynamism to its desert setting. After watching this a few times, some colour pops come on, like the Father’s blue car. Thursday Till Sunday uses colour to represent the things that its characters overlook and underestimate.

Thursday Till Sunday uses Lucia as the viewers’ stand in, mimicking her female gaze towards others. As a figure, she’s prominent on the screen more than the place or the people to whom she’s gazing. We see yearning for the connections that her parents make with the other family that she can’t really make with a brother who she slightly resents and annoys. She puts the adults on a pedestal even if the film reveals an ambiguous morality that may shock her. We see her even when the visuals are at its spottiest – nighttime is sometimes not an independent film’s best friend.

Again, most of Thursday Till Sunday has Lucia looking out to an arid, brown desert. But the more a viewer experiences them, they more they notice what cinematographer Barbara Alvarez does with the landscape. Ana walks through a desert with painterly rocks resembling waves, reminding viewers of its immensity. The desert becomes a battleground between Lucia and Ana, giving them a challenge they may not survive. The film gives all its drama a deliberate pace, which may not be for everybody. But thankfully, most of the visuals here compensate for the pace and improve by each frame.

Watch Thursday Till Sunday on MUBI.

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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