DIRECTOR: LUCRECIA MARTEL
Introduction & Conversation led by KJ Relth of UCLA Film & Television Archive
The work of a genius, or at very least one of the most talented filmmakers in the world (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian), The Headless Woman is the mesmerizing third feature by Lucrecia Martel and likely her chef d'oeuvre. María Onetto plays Verónica, a middle-aged, bottle-blonde dentist in Argentinas Salta province who may or may not have struck and killed something or someone while driving home one afternoon. Verónica bangs her head in the process, and spends the film in a woozy, disorientated, concussive state, while the men in her pampered, privileged family apparently collude to erase all traces of the accident. The films dreamy hyper-reality and moody, mysterious metaphysics have drawn comparisons to Luis Buñuel, David Lynch, the Michael Haneke of Caché, and the Antonioni of LAvventura and Blow Up. The indigenous bodies haunting the edges of the frame suggest that a deeper meditation on colonial guilt may be afoot. DP Barbara Alvarez imparts a restrainedand very strangespatial texture to Lucrecia Martels excitingly splintered third feature. Martels rare gift for building social melodrama from sonic and spatial textures, behavioral nuances, and an unerringly brilliant sense of the joys, tensions, and endless reserves of suppressed emotion lurking within the familial structure is here pushed to another level of creative daring.
Lucrecia Martel is an award-winning filmmakers who has been heralded as one of the most prodigiously talented filmmakers in contemporary world cinema (Haden Guest, BOMB Magazine). Her first film, La Cienaga, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and won numerous awards, announced her as an exciting new voice in Argentine cinema. She followed it up with The Holy Girl (2004) and The Headless Woman. All three films tackle issues of femaleness in middle-class suburban Argentine culture with a uniquely restrained and cinematic irreverence. Her latest, Zama, premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival to major critical acclaim and was chosen as Argentinas submission for the 2018 Foreign Language Oscar.
Preceded by two short films by BARBARA HAMMER,
Introduction by KJ Relth of UCLA Film & Television Archive
1974 / 4min
1975 / 8min
There is a certain glibness in calling someone a legend, but if theres any artist worthy of the title its Barbara Hammer, whose nearly 50-year career has spanned disciplines and broken boundaries, but has focused most especially on moving images. At 78, she is considered a pioneer of queer experimental filma field that hardly existed when Hammer began making work, and one that she has in large part defined herself. Her workswhich also include photography, collages, drawings, and installationsexplore the female experience, from the taboo (menstruation, orgasms, lesbian sexuality, cancer) to the less taboo (homes, nature, history).
Inspired largely by the work of Maya Deren, Hammer came out as a lesbian in her early 30s and began making films. Since then she has made over 80 films including the groundbreaking Dyketactic in 1974, Nitrate Kisses which premiered at the 1992 Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals, and her recent personal documentary A Horse is not a Metaphor. She has won several awards for her contributions to the experimental film community, and been the subject of retrospectives including at the MoMA, Tate Modern, and The Centre Pompidou.