Halcion is the title of the most recent work from Austria´s most productive film studio - that of Dietmar Brehm. The film is hereby named after a sleeping pill which Brehm explained in a letter "induces pastel colored dreams and watery images". Its appearance leaves little doubt that a key to the film lies in its title: we are given to see the vision of a dream that has coagulated to film.
All the material Brehm brought to bear was culled from his 6-part cycle Black Garden. Apparitional and magnified fragments of Black Garden spirit across the screen like the "dream day" from which a dream gathers its material. Many of these rudiments come across as abstract, albeit without belying their origin in the realm of the figurative. One suspects movements, senses the presence of bodies - yet all remains haunted and spectral.
The texture of the film is shaped by strong contrasts. We look into the pitch darkness of a night where a lambent brightness is throbbing, shaping mysterious gestures and erotic premonitions, only to disappear again into the night. Sound stands in crystal clear contrast to image: the dialing and ringing of a telephone that nobody answers; the futile knocking on a door; the moaning of the wind; thunder, crackling flames, the crying of a seagull, the barking of dogs. It is the loneliness of a forgotten suburb that is heard, the soundtrack of an unnamed periphery. Notwithstanding, we are never entirely left alone: time and again, faces can be made out among the film´s recognizable elements - faces with eyes that are watching. A woman stares at us; a man bends down over the camera, up close to the lens; in the pulsation of the throbbing screen, figures wrapped in mystery are silently observing: images that keep us in their sights. Halcion is a dream that watches us in our dreaming.
Translation: Eve Heller