In the second part of VÍZ’s Veils trilogy, “Invader,” the call is coming from inside the house. VÍZ aka Réka Csiszér stars in “Invader.” She is possessed, trapped in a body losing its grip on reality. Electronics whirr into existence, tethered to the underworld by growling bass pulses. A haunted, sterile voice repeats, “System broken,” over and over as the sonic snarl grows in intensity. Blue hues give way to a hellish red glow while roots become physical restraints, trapping Csiszér in this psychological descent.
Once again, Radiana Basso and Réka Csiszér have made an incredible, darkly engaging film that transforms the music into an even more visceral experience than it is on its own. The striking palette and especially Csiszér’s performance permeate the caustic aural nexus with deep horror. It’s essential viewing.
Below is Csiszér’s statement on “Invader”:
‘Invader (Veils II)’ is the second chapter in a psychotronic film trilogy by VÍZ, made in collaboration with the Italian film director Radiana Basso for the concept record ‘Veils’ (out on BlauBlau Records). ‘Invader’ was shot in a place called Spazio Morel in Lugano, Switzerland; an abandoned garage from the 1960s, that later became a cultural space for art, closely tied to an artist community the director Radiana Basso was part of at that time. The main idea for this video was the decay of a possessed body and its movements. The war between two forces: the invader and its host, the body. Through personal experience, I realized that the true horror of human existence is the fear of the body’s transformation, its eventual loss, and with it the loss of physical experience. In the end we are all just afraid to die. In movies we are shown violent images, but what really scares us is invisible and mostly silent. In the horror genre characters have a certain freedom to live out their insanity and to go to extremes. It’s empowering to watch characters live out their wildest phantasies with no reasoning or need for explanation. Radiana Basso and myself are very curious about our dark sides, and are not afraid to dig deep in order to find out what exactly is slumbering down there. The other thing about horror is that it has a tragicomic side to it all. Scenes can be exaggerated, and characters can do things normal people would never do in real life.
At some point in my life, I recognized that my favourite movies all have one thing in common: a mad woman. Remembering movies such as ‘Opening Night’ (John Cassavetes), ‘Repulsion’ (Roman Polanski), ‘Images’ & ‘Three Women’ (both Robert Altman), and ‘Possession’ (Andrzej Żuławski), they’re all centred around a female character, who seems to be suppressed in her daily life and starts losing her mind. The idea of the victimized and hysterical woman goes back as far as Adam and Eve. In cinema, a great actress can expose her mind and soul, and it is inspiring to witness the freedom with which the women in these movies express their so-called madness. I started to wonder why I am so attracted to these movies, and I think it has something to do with the idea of going to extremes and the catharsis that takes place during the act of madness. In some way it helps me to figure out where the line between sanity and madness is. Observing a psychotic character in a movie can also have a very therapeutic and cathartic effect on the audience. Witnessing a sense of the impossible on the cinema screen helps us to let go of ourselves, even if only for a brief but sacred moment.
Radiana and myself had to build a relationship based on a deep sense of trust, in order to get as close as possible to the realization of our vision and to go as far as we wanted to. Not only to trust in each other, but also to trust our minds and in the strength of our vision. Since we hadn’t worked in such a collaborative way before, we needed to understand exactly how each one of us functions and works. This becomes all the more challenging when you work on a very low budget, or, in our case, no budget at all. But, as so often is the case, these circumstances only help the artists to be more creative and inventive, which makes up for all the hardship involved. Shooting ‘Invader (Veils II)’ was a revelatory experience. In the film I am performing a double role – of the body invader and the body host – and wearing white contact lenses. For three days I was basically performing blind, following voices, and only relying on my ears, my body, and my instinct. It was quite a savage shoot. Performing a strain of madness and losing one’s sensory perception was challenging, but it also made me realize how much easier it was to give up control, open up emotionally, and allow myself to be vulnerable and to be guided. In the end, the trilogy taught us all about giving up control. Even if I was deeply involved with the conception of this trilogy, as a performer I had to surrender myself completely, which made it all the more important to learn where to draw the line between light and darkness.
Veils is out now via BlauBlau Records. Listen and purchase below.