Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Headless auteurism! Lucrecia Martel in London

La mujer sin cabeza/The Headless Woman director Lucretia Martel and producers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar at the film's North American premiere at the 46th New York Film Festival, October 6, 2008

Sorry it's been a little too quiet round here again, this month. Next Tuesday (nasty cold permitting) I am due to give a paper at a Screen Medias and Cultures Research seminar in Cambridge, and I've been hard at work on it beyond cyberspace, along with fulfilling some other commitments (book reviews and suchlike; plus other blogging, of course).

I will be talking about the 'experience of auteurism' in contemporary film culture, and Pedro Almodóvar will be my principal example. In this paper, it's important to talk about a director I love, as experiences of 'director love' (alongside auteur desire, as Dana Polan so wonderfully called it) are precisely what I am looking at. I am sure to write more about this topic here, after the talk.

Next to Almodóvar, the other director whose work I love -- more than most others, at any rate -- is the Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, and next week I will finally get to see her new film La mujer sin cabeza/The Headless Woman which will have its UK premiere as part of the seventh annual Discovering Latin America Film Festival. Martel will be at the screening at the Tate Modern's Starr Auditorium (or 'the filmwomb', as I like to think of it).

Martel's latest film has inspired both utter devotion and ridicule (see Peter Bradshaw's article on it for today's Guardian Film Blog: 'How I lost my head for The Headless Woman'). It also seems to have provoked, albeit on a much smaller scale, the kind of polite but frenzied attempts to nail down its central enigmas unwitnessed since Michael Haneke's Caché deliberately foxed many a metropolitan-elite film audience a few years ago.

If you've seen the film, or if, like me, you are impatient to experience it, then you might like to read by far the best English language film review of The Headless Woman of the many I've read: that by Michael J. Anderson for his great weblog Tativille (one of the best websites out there for elegantly written and judicious film criticism, by Anderson and his partner Lisa K. Broad - thanks to Sergio Dias-Branco for his original tip, way back when, to check Tativille out).

If you are just regularly curious, below is the trailer for the film (sorry not to have been able to locate a version with English subtitles). Hasta la vista.


Michael J. Anderson said...

Dear Catherine,

Thank your for very generous recommendation of my site. I, like you, have academic responsibilities that make its up-keep quite difficult at times. It's praise like yours that keeps it going.

To reciprocate, thank you for your own invaluable work, particularly with the already indispensable FILM STUDIES FOR FREE. Best of luck on your paper and enjoy the film... not that you need to be told that.

Best wishes,
Michael (& Lisa)

Catherine Grant said...

Many thanks for your generous thanks, Michael. Best wishes, Catherine