Married to well-known filmic provocateur Gaspar Noe, and serving as producer, editor, and writer on the likes of I Stand Alone and Enter the Void, French filmmaker Lucile Hadzihalilovic is no stranger to challenging, transgressive cinema. But she’s also a director, turning in her own savage, subversive movies, and her latest, Evolution—a movie I love—just dropped a haunting new trailer.
I saw Evolution at the Seattle International Film Festival a few months back, and it wound up one of my favorites of the fest. Less aggressive than her husband’s films, Hadzihalilovic brings an unsettling, surreal cinematic nightmare to life.
Gorgeous and tense, this is Cronenberg-style body horror mixed with dystopian sci-fi fever dream. Deliberately paced and gorgeous to behold, Evolution is tense and nuanced, and the haunting disquiet sticks around long after the lights go up. And this trailer leaves a touch of that sensation.
Evolution unfolds like a parable, set in what may be a futuristic world, alternate reality, isolated village, or a straight up hallucination. Nicolas lives in a peaceful, idyllic seaside village populated solely by young boys and their mothers. He and his compatriots spend their days swimming and frolicking, except when the women subject them to bizarre medical experiments and engage in strange, erotic rituals on the beach.
Here’s an official synopsis:
This eerily seductive mind-bender is a dark, dreamlike descent into the depths of the unknown. Ten-year-old Nicolas (Max Brebant) lives in a remote seaside village populated only by boys his age and adult women. But when he makes a disturbing discovery beneath the ocean waves—a dead boy with a red starfish on his stomach—Nicolas begins to question everything about his existence. What are the half-remembered images he recalls, as if from another life? If the woman he lives with is not his mother, then who is she? And what awaits the boys when they are all suddenly confined to a hospital? The long-awaited new film from the acclaimed director of Innocence is awash in the haunting, otherworldly images of a nightmare.
Now that it’s made the festival rounds, IFC Midnight has Evolution slated for a November 25 release date. Unique and compelling, and photographed with a stunning eye for unnerving beauty, this is one to actively seek out in on a big screen in you have the chance.