The first feature-length film by artist Lucile Desamory, ABRACADABRA brings together an array of characters set within a narrative suffused with mystery and intrigue. The film centers on a reporter named Damien, who after winning a Scrabble game is visited by a ghost. He follows her into the dark streets of Brussels until he reaches the closed gates of a big building. The next day, Damien returns to find out more about this location and meets the inhabitants: three mysterious women forming something between a Christian commune and a secret society. They invite him in for supper but do not appear very attentive. Soon he finds himself drawn into the symbolic qualities of the building, only to find he may never escape.

ABRACADABRA is inspired in part by the short story ‘The Open Window 1911’, by British writer Hector Hugh Munro (aka Saki), in which a 15-year-old girl frightens a nervous male visitor with a fabricated story based around the feature of an open French window that looks onto a lawn. This interest in reinterpreting the everyday, or the uncanny, is played out and heightened by the series of trompe l’oeil paintings by artist Lucy McKenzie, who also stars in the film as the ghost. The paintings were exhibited at Tate Modern in ‘A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance’ and depict a 1:1 scaled interior décor of a room, creating a stage-set within the space of the socalled real. This deconstructed space presents an intertwining of reality and dream heightened by musician and composer Nicholas Bussmann, who interlaced the sound design with the music score, creating a dense, unsettling physical atmosphere.

  • Color system PAL
  • Color col.
  • Year 2013
  • Duration 01:20:00
  • Languageinfo
    Subtitles: English UK, Dutch/ Flemish
    Spoken: French
  • Artists