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(aka 'The Headless Woman')

Directed by Lucrecia Martel
Argentina | France | Italy | Spain 2008

 

A bourgeois woman is driving alone on a dirt road, becomes distracted, and runs over something. In the days following this jarring incident, she is dazed and emotionally disconnected from the people and events in her life. She becomes obsessed with the possibility that she may have killed someone. The police confirm that there were no accidents reported in the area and everything returns to normal until a gruesome discovery is made. Lucrecia Martel's third feature after the acclaimed La Cienaga and The Holy Girl examines the intricacies of class status and the role of women in a male-dominated society.

***

What follows is an astounding portrait of a person entirely out of sync with her own existence. It’s not a particularly new subject in cinema, especially for anyone familiar with the work of Michelangelo Antonioni and Luis Buñuel, two incomparable artists often invoked in promotional copy for The Headless Woman. Yet writer-director Lucrecia Martel—aided immeasurably by Bárbara Álvarez’s probing, Peeping Tom camerawork—distinguishes this effort through a confident and expressive aesthetic all her own.

We find out about Verónica’s background only as she does. A career, a family and an infidelity or two slowly come into focus, as does an implicit, guilt-ridden class bias. But The Headless Woman is no simplistic status parable. It’s more a psychological snapshot of a person forever doomed to remain a voyeur to her own life, something a climactic change of hair color (a hilariously Hitchcockian flourish) can only outwardly fix.

Excerpt from Keith Uhlich at TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 21st, 2008 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:29:24 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 3.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (non-removable)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Q+A Session with Lucrecia Martel and Scott Foundas at UCLA Film and Television Archive July 17th, 2009
• Theatrical Trailer
• Strand Previews

DVD Release Date: December 15th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

Firstly, this is a marvelous film - far too challenging and intentionally vague for mainstream perceptions. This one would have been really sweet in Criterion's hands.

While this is only single-layered, Strand have surprised me by making it a progressive transfer as opposed to, their usual, interlaced. It is also anamorphically enhanced in the film's original 2.35 aspect ratio. It supports the film well enough - if unremarkably with drab colors and detail limitations of the DVD5 format. Of all the film's I've seen this year on DVD - I'd probably like to see this most in 1080P resolution. Anyway, I'd love to determine if my reaction would be even more personally satisfying.

Audio is a 2.0 channel unremarkable track but close enough, I'll wager, to the way it was produced. The negative here is that the English subtitles are non-removable but in a perfect world many of this DVD's attributes would have been upp'ed.

The extras include a 35-minute Q+A session with director Lucrecia Martel and Scott Foundas at UCLA's Film and Television Archive - filmed July 17th, 2009. There is an interpreter which unfortunately shortens the interaction but there is some interesting information imparted although some external noises are annoyingly loud. A commentary would have been grand as this is such a wonderful piece of cinema.  There is also a theatrical trailer and some Strand Preview/adverts.

This is reminiscent of Antonioni or even impressionist art and hence has our highest recommendation

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC



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