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December 08, 2010


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Kent Jones

The "Dirty War" question makes me think of CACHE. Brilliant as much of that film was, I thought it became pretty thin as it went along. This had to do with the way that Haneke dealt with Algeria and the French past, where they sat in the film. The movie was quite a rich experience for about an hour, and then the seams started to show, and it ended, at least in my mind, as a pretty schematic enterprise.

In the case of THE HEADLESS WOMAN, the idea of the dictatorship and the disappearances was brought up after the fact by people writing about the film - I don't remember Martel raising the issue, but I could be wrong. In any case, she's pretty different from Haneke, more devoted to rendering the hallucinatory, "psychopathological" side of moment to moment existence. As in that amazing sequence before the accident, as disorienting as anything in KHROUSTALIOV, MY CAR.

Thanks for the kind words, Donald.

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