The Cinema of Jessica Hausner
We celebrate one of the most distinctive European filmmakers working today, and welcome her to the BFI stage.
‘What interests me most is the question mark after an event’
Since attracting international attention with her first feature, Jessica Hausner has established herself as one of the most distinctive European filmmakers working today.
Following two well-received shorts, Lovely Rita announced the arrival of a writer-director clearly interested in subtle nuance. With that film – realist in tone, and less preoccupied with cinema’s formal possibilities than her later, more stylised work – Hausner’s eloquent precision and insightful perspicacity were already to the fore. Over time, an engagingly idiosyncratic approach to genre came into play, focused on ambiguities and ironies, uncertainties and questions, rather than on neat narratives and easy answers. Also rewarding was Hausner’s cool, considered (but quietly compassionate) detachment in examining the strong, even extreme emotions that her characters – very often loners or outsiders – were experiencing. As with Haneke, Kubrick and Hitchcock, hers is an analytical but highly accessible cinema, which amply repays repeat viewings.