I Feel You: The Films of Lucrecia Martel

JUNE 1-5, 8-10


6:00pm - Reception
7:00pm - Zama introduced by Dr. Christine Evans

“A major auteur and eloquent leading light of the New Argentine Cinema.”

With the seismic arrival of Zama on the festival circuit last year, Argentine auteur Lucrecia Martel (b. 1966) ended a long nine-year drought between pictures and upped her feature-film count to a lean four works over the past 16 years. (A prolific director, she is not.) In truth, had each of Martel’s too-few films not been replete with sophistication, singularity, and radical new perspectives on the seventh art, it would be hard to fathom how such an oft-absent filmmaker could remain so relevant, so revered, so indispensable a figure in modern cinema, as Martel so clearly has.

“One of the most prodigiously talented and critically adulated filmmakers in contemporary world cinema.”

Born and raised in the tropical northern province of Salta — the locale of most of her films — Martel came to international prominence in 2001 with her dazzling, dreamlike first feature La Ciénaga, winner of the prestigious Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival and flashpoint for a New Argentine Cinema still gaining ground in the early aughts. (Lisandro Alonso, perhaps Martel’s closest filmic cousin, is also among its affiliates.) A deeply immersive, deeply impressionistic account of a bourgeois family in decay, Martel’s astonishing debut introduced the social themes, feminist framework, and much-lauded aesthetic sensibilities — unorthodox aural landscapes; visual tactility — that would only intensify over her next two features: the oblique coming-of-age drama The Holy Girl (2004), and the brilliantly inside-out thriller The Headless Woman (2008), considered to be one of the best films of the 21st century.

“When you discover an auteur so original, mature, and elusive as Lucrecia Martel, you feel as if you’re witnessing a miracle.” PEDRO ALMÓDOVAR

To coincide with the Vancouver premiere of Zama, Martel’s first literary adaptation and first period piece, The Cinematheque presents a mid-career retrospective of the director’s fiercely-original body of work. Included are her four acclaimed features — remarkable feats of sensorial cinema, all — plus Dead King, a revisionist short film from 1995.


Click for film notes + showtimes

Recent Showings

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Martel's fever-dream adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s novel is a throne-retaking triumph for the Argentine auteur.
Martel's brilliant debut feature, a rumination on race, class, gender, and Argentina’s colonial past, is preceded by her 1995 short Dead King.
Martel delivered on the sizable promise of her debut with this strange and sensual sophomore effort about a girl’s mission to deliver a man from sin.
The mesmerizing third feature by Lucrecia Martel is one of the great masterpieces of the aughts — and likely the director's chef d'oeuvre.