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Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel to appear at Wexner Center

A scene from Lucrecia Martel’s “The Holy Girl.” Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

In support of her latest film,  world-renowned Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel is making a live appearance in only seven locations in the U.S. — including Columbus’ Wexner Center for the Arts.

“Retrospective: Lucrecia Martel” will screen three of Martel’s feature films and a selection of her rarely viewed short films beginning Tuesday.

The event will include “The Headless Woman,” “The Holy Girl,” “La ciénaga,” and her most recent work, “Zama,” which was based on Antonio di Benedetto’s 1965 novel of the same name.

“There are certain filmmakers that do create such unique films … and there’s a strata of filmmakers that is rare, and Martel is definitely one of them,” said David Filipi, director of film/video for the Wexner Center. “Her films are real experiences. Each one is this fully realized vision.”

Each film layers a complex and widely different narrative for the audience.

“That complexity comes out in terms of what’s shown on screen, but also we hear it in the soundtrack and so it demands a lot from spectators, from the audience, to pick up on all of these cues,” said Laura Podalsky, department chair of Spanish and Portuguese. “She never takes you by the hand and leads you through the film.”

While “The Headless Woman” explores the mind of an upper-class dentist who possibly hits something with her car, “The Holy Girl” follows a young girl and her budding sexuality.

“Zama” was the first of Martel’s films with a male protagonist, which featured Don Diego de Zama, an 18th-century Spanish officer. The film is an adaptation of a major work of Argentine literature.

“Lucrecia Martel is one of the most renowned, well-thought-of Latin American filmmakers today,” Podalsky said. “While [her films] converse with Argentine film history with earlier films made in Argentina, they are at the same time pushing boundaries to make people think about society and particular problematics … so I think she’s an incredibly innovative filmmaker.”

Podalsky will lead a Q&A with Martel on the second day of the retrospective.

“People really anticipate her films,” Filipi said. “It’s fun when everyone’s excited about something.”

The event will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Admission is $6 per screening for students.

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