Lucrecia Martel in person for all screenings!

Few contemporary directors have left a more indelible mark on world cinema than Lucrecia Martel, whose small but rich body of work has gained worldwide recognition since her debut feature, La Ciénaga, in 2001. Born in Salta—a culturally conservative region of northwestern Argentina—Martel studied film in Buenos Aires during one of the country’s worst economic crises, and eventually lent her worldview and sense of place to intimate, elliptical dramas that broke from the aesthetic and ideological tendencies of the prevailing national film scene. A singular artist, Martel combines a formal mastery—particularly through her attention to sound design—with a sensibility entirely her own, defined by atmosphere, mystery, and caustic humor alongside provocative critiques of class and patriarchy in Argentine society. To coincide with the U.S. release of her long-anticipated fourth feature, Zama, the Film Society revisits the work of one of cinema’s truly brilliant minds.

Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan.

UCLA Film & Television Archive

Dennis Lim on Lucrecia Martel

I’ll never forget first seeing Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénaga at the New York Film Festival in 2001. It was one of the most assured first features I’d ever seen, a complex, atmosphere-drenched portrait of a middle-class family barely hanging on during a torpid summer. The film marked the emergence of a fully formed artistic sensibility, and remains one of this century’s defining films.

Since then the Argentinean filmmaker has proven time and again that her extraordinary debut was no fluke. Her subsequent films — The Holy GirlThe Headless Woman, and her latest, the astonishing, long-awaited period piece Zama — only further developed her talents, and refined her taste for wry humor and mysterious abstractions. She is nothing less than one of contemporary cinema’s true visionaries. Almost every shot in her work shows you something in a way you’ve never seen it before. Simply put, her films look, sound, and move like no one else’s.

If you’re not acquainted with Lucrecia Martel’s films or have never heard her speak about her work or share her completely original ideas about cinema, now’s your chance. Starting Tuesday, April 10, join the director in person at all screenings for our retrospective of her short but major career to date. Ahead of the official theatrical release this Friday, Martel will also join us for a sneak preview of Zama (a sold-out smash from NYFF 2017) on Wednesday, April 11.

Learn more about Lucrecia with the recent Film Comment Podcast and read their terrific interview with the filmmaker here.

View the lineup and secure tickets here.

We look forward to seeing you!


Dennis Lim
Director of Programming