Dave's Rating:

4.5

No actual female heads harmed.

Who's In It: Maria Onetto

The Basics: An upper middle class Argentine woman runs over something in the road while driving home from an "appointment" with a guy she's fooling around with on the side. She's shaken, looks out her car window (now featuring a mystery hand print) re-starts the car and drives on. In long no-focus, the body of whatever it is lies in a heap on the ground while her car moves away from the scene. Was it a dog? A boy? Will she confess? Be caught? And because she's got money and a light-skinned European/Spaniard background, will it matter?

What's The Deal: I just made this sound like a thriller, but it's not. At least not in the traditional sense. Mostly it's a story about creeping unease and haunting guilt and losing your mental bearings when you know--or at least you think you know--that you might have done something really horrible. The woman here goes through her daily routine slowly losing her ability to figure out what step to take next, quietly unraveling. You you wind up as lost in her morally ambiguous world as she is.

Where It Comes From: Bad-ass art-film superfriend Lucrecia Martel (she says this movie's plot came to her in a dream) who also directed two earlier movies called La Cienaga and The Holy Girl, both of them pretty amazing excursions into stagnant bourgeois lives and religious hysteria. This is the kind of film you watch attentively and intentionally (mostly because you're going to have to hunt it down), knowing that it's your job to fill in the blanks. Stay away if you're not down for that.

Martel's Favorite Camera Trick: Close ups of the subject at hand, everything in the background out of focus. It's why even though you see a figure in the road next to the car, it's impossible to say if it's a dog or a human being. The subject matter is quietly made literal with every shot.

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