20 May 2018 – 27 May 2018
The Institute of Contemporary Arts presents a retrospective of the work of Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, celebrating her complex, unsettling cinema. In addition to showcasing all of her full-length features, the season introduces a selection of her short films.
Since the ICA distributed her debut feature The Swamp in 2001, (which is screening as the opening night of the retrospective, with Lucrecia Martel in attendance for a discussion post-screening), Martel's cinema has been hailed as one of the most influential of our times. Born in Salta, Argentina, Martel studied film in Buenos Aires, emerging from the New Argentine Cinema movement in the early 2000s.
Martel's cinema, renowned for its mysterious and allusive charm, is also an exploration—and deconstruction—of the concepts of family, religion and desire. Her films are often permeated by a feeling of constant unease and contestation, in which nothing can be taken for granted and nothing is as it seems. From The Swamp through to The Holy Girl, The Headless Woman and, after nine-year gap, her latest work Zama, the cinema of the Argentine director has been widely praised for its astute and multi-layered cinematic language which conveys a certain outer stillness paired with plenty of emotional inner movement.
These films are a visual pleasure due to their skilful use of cinematography and, above all, the meticulously crafted relationship between sound and image. Dry, piercing humour often sits alongside a fearless critique of middle-class Argentinian society. Martel's works dispense with narrative convention, and through a carefully expressive framing construction, often address disquietude and moral questions, asking the viewer to probe their own internal world.
The ICA Lucrecia Martel Retrospective is in partnership and programmed in parallel with BFI Close Up: Lucrecia Martel
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