“When you discover an auteur so original, mature and elusive as Lucrecia Martel, you feel as if you’re witnessing a miracle.”—Pedro Almódovar in IndieWire
Tuesday, April 17–Saturday, April 21, 2018, the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University will present Retrospective: Lucrecia Martel, a series spotlighting the Argentinian filmmaker’s psychologically astute, sensually immersive work. The series includes a visit from Martel on Wednesday, April 18, for the Ohio premiere of her radical new film, Zama.
Emerging from the New Argentine Cinema movement at the start of the 21st century, Martel has built an international reputation as one of today’s great cinematic stylists with the release of three consecutive masterpieces: La ciénaga in 2001, The Holy Girl in 2004, and The Headless Woman in 2008.
Each of these features will be presented as part of Retrospective: Lucrecia Martel, along with a selection of her rarely seen short films and Zama, her first feature in nine years, which was produced with support from an expansive collective of filmmaking talent including Pedro Almódovar, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Danny Glover.
“We’ve been great admirers of Martel’s work since we screened La ciénaga in 2002. She is one of the world’s great filmmakers, possessing an utterly unique cinematic vision,” says David Filipi, the center’s Director of Film/Video. “We’re thrilled to be bringing her to the Wex and affording our audience the opportunity to hear from her in person.”
Martel’s appearance at the Wex is part of an April lineup of visiting filmmakers that includes Kimi Takesue, who’ll present her documentary 95 and 6 to Go on Wednesday, April 11; and Stanya Kahn, who’ll visit on Thursday, April 12, in conjunction with screenings in The Box and the Film/Video Theater of her acclaimed recent video, Stand in the Stream.
The complete schedule for Retrospective: Lucrecia Martel:
Tue, Apr 17 | 7 pm
The Headless Woman
(La mujer sin cabeza, 2008)
Martel’s extraordinary third film puts viewers inside the head of a disoriented upper-class dentist who might have accidentally run over a child...or a dog...or nothing at all. After recovering from a mild head injury, she is overcome by a sense of guilt and uncertainty about what—if anything—she might have done. (87 mins., 35mm)
Wed, Apr 18 | 7 pm
With director Lucrecia Martel in person
Adapted from a 1956 modernist classic of Argentinian literature by Antonio di Bendetto, Martel’s first historical film—and her first feature with a male protagonist—offers an immersive portrait of Don Diego de Zama, an 18th-century Spanish officer stationed in Paraguay. As her main character waits for his transfer to a more prestigious location, Martel masterfully creates a dreamlike mood around his daily routines, which become more consumed with lust and paranoia. (115 mins., DCP)
After the screening, Martel will discuss her work in a conversation moderated by film scholar and faculty member Laura Podalsky of Ohio State’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Film Studies Program.
Fri, Apr 20 | 7 pm
La ciénaga (2001)
With Short works (2010–15)
Often compared to films by David Lynch, Jane Campion, and Michelangelo Antonioni, Martel’s debut La ciénaga (Spanish for swamp) paints a humid portrait of a middle-class family’s booze-dulled decline. (103 mins., DCP)
A selection of Martel’s rarely screened short films follows the feature: Pescados (2010, 4:30 mins.), featuring music by past Wex guest Juana Molina; Nueva Argirópolis (2010, 8 mins.); Leguas (2015, 11:45 mins.); and the surreal Muta, commissioned by fashion label Miu Miu (2011, 6:27 mins.; all shorts digital video).
Sat, Apr 21 | 7 pm
The Holy Girl
(La niña santa, 2004)
Martel’s sophomore film follows a young girl whose deep sense of spirituality intertwines with her burgeoning sexuality. Martel makes meticulous use of sound to reveal character details throughout—from one’s pivotal experience in a theremin concert to another’s ear-ringing tinnitus. (106 mins., 35mm)