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Argentinian Filmmaker Lucrecia Martel Visits the Wex

Hope Madden Hope Madden Argentinian Filmmaker Lucrecia Martel Visits the WexHoly Girl movie still via IMDb.
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Unconventional Argentinian cinematic master Lucrecia Martel makes her first trip to the Wexner Center for the Arts next week, accompanying her lauded new feature, Zama. The period drama screens as part of a program, running Tuesday, April 17 through Saturday, April 21, that showcases the filmmaker’s four features as well as a set of rarely seen shorts.

“When we watch conventional movies, there are few surprises,” says David Filipi, Wex’s Director of Film/Video.

But, he says, Martel’s films are different.

“You really have to open up your receptors a little bit to kind of experience her films in a different way than what we’ve been conditioned to. I think it’s just amazing,” he says. “It’s a delightful experience that you don’t get to have very often.”

He says though Zama is a much different film than what Martel’s done previously, there are similarities.

“You kind of get enveloped,” he says. “That’s true of all her films. You feel like you’re inhabiting this world where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. If kind of feels like an alternate reality.”

“On one hand, it was a departure, especially from Headless Woman and Holy Girl. I think there’s even less point by point narrative,” he continues. “In other ways it’s very much in keeping with her past work. There’s so much in her work about her home country of Argentina and of national identity.”

“I think there are layers to her films that people who are fluent in Argentine history might extract a little bit more than a casual moviegoer, but it’s certainly not necessary to have that background to find yourself immersed in these worlds she creates.”

In the world of art and cinema, according to Filipi, there are few like Martel.

“There’s this large handful of world filmmakers of her generation that, when you go to a film festival, everyone is anticipating seeing the new film from that person,” he says. “In France, it’s Claire Denis, or it might be Wong Kar-wai or Hong Sang-soo. You have to see the new works by this group of filmmakers, and she’s definitely one of those people.”

Longtime supporters of the filmmaker, the Wex is looking forward to her visit.

“We’ve shown all of her features,” Filipi says. “She was a very young filmmaker when La Ciénaga came out and we showed it. It blew us away. It blew our audiences away. We’re very excited that she’s finally going to be here. We’ve always really respected her work and we’re thrilled she’s going to be here in person.”

The program begins on Tuesday with a screening of Martel’s 2008 Palme d’Or nominee The Headless Woman, followed on Wednesday with a visit from the director in support of Zama.

Wednesday’s screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director led by Professor Laura Podalsky, Chair of Ohio State’s Spanish and Portuguese Department.

Full Lucrecia Martel series
Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m.: The Headless Woman (2008)
Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m.: Zama (2017), director Lucrecia Martel in person
Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.: La Ciénaga (2001) and the director’s short films (2010 – 2015)
Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m.: The Holy Girl (2004)

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