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cinemadaily | Retracing the Steps of “The Headless Woman”

cinemadaily | Retracing the Steps of "The Headless Woman"

Lucrecia Martel (“La Ciénaga,” “The Holy Girl”) , the lauded Argentine director, has brought her mystery/thriller about a woman who realizes she may have killed someone with her car, Stateside via Strand Releasing. “La mujer sin cabeza,” (The Headless Woman) which premiered last year at Cannes, is currently playing at NYC’s Film Forum. “On indieWIRE, Eric Hynes praises Martel’s style, “In each of Martel’s first three features, a mysterious incident confounds characters and viewer alike, setting a tone that the Argentine director sustains yet also narratively subverts.”

Cynthia Fuchs, on Pop Matters says, “The film works in multiple ways, limiting your vision to Veró‘s while also questioning what she thinks she sees, what she describes, how she looks or when she turns away.”

Stephen Holden in the New York Times warns viewers to be ready to think and to be duly rewarded. “A full appreciation of Lucrecia Martel’s elegant, rain-soaked film, “The Headless Woman,” requires the concentration and eye for detail of a forensic detective. Every frame of this brilliant, maddeningly enigmatic puzzle of a movie contains crucial information, much of it glimpsed on the periphery and sometimes passing so quickly you barely have time to blink.”

On IFC, Mike D’Angelo straddles the line between awestruck and dumbstruck, “When each successive film from a new, audacious talent seems richer and more rewarding than the one before, it can sometimes be hard to tell whether the director is steadily improving or it’s simply taking you some time and effort to learn how to watch his/her movies…As pure filmmaking, ‘The Headless Woman’ is indisputably superb and non-stop evocative; there’s scarcely a shot that doesn’t throb with ambiguous menace or portent.”

J. Hoberman in the Village Voice chronicles the development of the director, “Martel has been called a novelistic filmmaker—in her disinclination to spell out a narrative, she’s a lot closer to Henry James than Charles Dickens. The story proceeds in casually hectic fits and starts; the plot is a patchwork of overheard dialogue and surprise cuts. “

Chris Wisniewski has an interview with Martel about the film at Reverse Shot that takes up style, influences, and intention.

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