Wednesday 25 June, 7pm, Cinema 3, Barbican
Dir. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain, 2008, 87 mins
Lucrecia Martel is one of the most talented and critically acclaimed filmmakers working in independent cinema today. Her hypnotic, mysterious and deeply immersive films have reached far beyond Salta, the tropical north-eastern province where she grew up and where all her films are set. The Headless Woman is the third in her Salta film trilogy (The Swamp, The Holy Girl) that adopts an intense, near hallucinatory first-person perspective; the story concerns a successful dentist uncertain what to do when she runs over a dog or could it have been the dog’s owner? In tune with the heroine’s intense anxiety and post-traumatic state of mind, the story lingers on the puzzling clues that slither into a fog of guilt and denial.
Possibly her darkest and most acutely political statement, the film offers a modern exploration of the female psyche as well as a pointed critique of class inequality and bourgeois indifference.
The Headless Woman is no willfully opaque puzzler designed to alienate; Martel is out to confound and bedazzle us, and to worry us too. You’d have to be headless or heartless yourself not to let this extraordinary, eerie film get under your skin. – Jonathan Romney, The Independent
With an introduction by Selina Robertson
Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 explores the myriad perceptions and experiences of anxiety on screen across London throughout June.