Monday 3 May 2010

Lucrecia Martel (B. 1966)

Maria Onetto in The Headless Woman

The resurgence of Latin American Cinema became evident in the late 90s, early 2000. Until then LAC has been marred by decades of censorship, lack of funding, and overturn by Hollywood movies.

Nowadays the story is, both literally and figuratively, quite different. Not only has cinema been revitalised by an injection of funding and international interest, there’s also been the realization that women are powerful players in the industry, both in front and behind the cameras.

From this “new wave” of Latin American movies, one of the main figures in the past decade has been Lucretia Martel. Born in Argentina in 1966, Martel made home movies as a kid but never intended for this to be her profession. In 1988, Martel moved to Buenos Aires to study Communication, and there it was where she started making short films - one of her shorts entitled “The Dead King”, received various international awards.

Lucrecia Martel

During the late 1990s, Martel directed documentaries for TV as well as children’s programmes which were widely acclaimed by the Argentinean press for their dark sense of humour.

In 1999, she realised her first feature, Le Cienaga (2001), about two families living in the northern region of Argentina - where Martel is from - during one of the hottest summer in Argentinean history. The film received worldwide acclaim.

Martel has also written and directed The Holy Girl (2004) and The Headless Woman (2010) – both equally haunting and compelling movies. Martel’s work seems to explore not only human condition through the individual’s senses and desires, but also it questions the reliability of the visual medium as external evidence.

text by Luciana Saldanha

source: Reverse Shot (Reverse Shot is a quarterly, independently published film journal)

access an exclusive interview with Martel on:

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In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.