The Headless Woman Screen 4 articles

The Headless Woman

2008

The Headless Woman Poster
  • It’s frustrating trying to feel something it’s impossible to feel unless you’ve actually had the experience of killing someone accidentally. But some of us can relate to someone taking care of our problems for us, and we can all relate to recovering from a trauma and finding ways to go on with our lives that often involve willful forgetting. Is that what Hannah Arendt meant when she said that Eichmann had lost the capacity to think? For The Headless Woman, the answer appears to be “yes.”

  • Without being didactic or ideological, The Headless Woman communicates an idea with every shot, dolly, and sound bridge, while eschewing traditional narrativity in refusing establishing shots and transition shots or even camera positions and movement that align us with a single character’s perspective.

  • Though small in scale, The Headless Woman is a showcase for one of the new millennium’s most preternaturally gifted filmmakers, and each viewing teases out a bit more of this masterpiece’s thematic and aesthetic intricacies.

  • Like a dream, it fragments everyday life and reconfigures it so that the pieces don’t quite fit, but for that, become defamiliarized, so that everyday gestures suddenly seem new and full of possible, unconfirmed meaning; though the meaning’s always terror. And most importantly, like a dream, it’s all completely believable. On par with Antonioni, or Dreyer, or Hitchcock, Martel works from real life and abstracts the components she needs to give the natural supernatural connotations.

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