In contemporary cinema it is no easy task to find such a unique imaginary as the one proposed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic. She is a master in creating new worlds and mysterious atmospheres that move between fantasy and psychology, gothic horror and magic realism; the way the author’s cinema catches and envelops people when watching one of her films makes it difficult for them to leave. With her intriguing work based on designing forms in an integral and extraordinary fashion, her works show us a filmmaker with a unique view So, the hypnotic sounds and silences are always the main characters in her beautiful sequences, and this sound design goes hand in hand with sinister and pictorial lighting. Absolutely all of the details are where they should be. The scenery and the staging of each shot create mysterious and hair-raising atmospheres, reflecting the characters’ emotions. With sparse dialogues and a measured pace, the power of the short stories does not come from narration but their purely sensory approach.
There is something odd in the films that constitute the retrospective we dedicate to this filmmaker: her six films are full of contrasts and, at the same time, are stories that complement each other and share a huge number of symbols and details, that is why each time we watch one of Hadzihalilovic’s works we better understand the previous one.
Lucile does not imitate, does not seek to be similar to anything, she does not repeat any formula and has a genderless voice that seduces and disturbs at the same time. We can look into her films for references, but her cinema is already one itself since each one of the universes she creates is a real masterpiece in the form of a nightmare.