Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Beyond the Black Rainbow
Beyond Science. Beyond Sanity. Beyond Control.
Deep within the mysterious Arboria Institute, a disturbed and beautiful girl is held captive by a doctor in search of inner peace. Her mind controlled by a sinister technology. Silently, she waits for her next session with deranged therapist Dr. Barry Nyle. If she hopes to escape, she must journey through the darkest reaches of The Institute, but Nyle wonʼt easily part with his most gifted and dangerous creation.
"No matter where you go - There you are." B. Banzai
Beyond the Black Rainbow starts out with 1 9 8 3, the year of my birth, my first breath. We then read the words: "A state of mind, a way of being, A practical application of an abstract ideal, Born of a dream to create a reality, A different way to think, A new wave to live, A perfect way to believe."
The film starts out with heavy use of red and ends with a heavy saturation of violet, from elementary science you learn the name Roy G. Biv, to remember the colors of the rainbow.
Panos Cosmatos has created a hypnotic masterpiece. I was literally transfixed to the…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Beyond the Black Rainbow is a film swimming in its own vomit of filmic references. It’s an aesthetically stylish pastiche of ‘70s and ‘80s science fiction cinema without the big ideas to back up its bold and arresting images. No doubt it is a film that will find a small and vocal band of followers who find its trippy atmosphere an unforgettable sensory experience or discover greater depth to its underwritten plot and ambiguous images. For those, like me, annoyed by its cribbed style and arty abstraction it is a far more frustrating experience.
Set in an alternate 1983 a mute, telepathic prisoner (Elena) is kept in an isolated research facility and forced to endure ponderous meetings with an evil…
If Argento, Lynch, and Kubrick had a baby it would be called "Beyond the Black Rainbow". Imagine the last 15 minutes of 2001 stretched out to a 2 hour film and you pretty much get the vibe of this. It's also got a very John Carpenterish score that rocks. I don't know what kind of Kool-Aid Panos Cosmatos is drinking but if he's gonna make films like this let's hope he keeps it up.
I totally get the hate for this film, but fuck you and you're wrong.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW is like nothing I have seen before. It wears its influences on its sleeve but instead of just being a winking a homage or mishmash of prior sci-fi, Panos Cosmatos takes these influences and creates something new and completely original. The use of color in this film is simply criminal. It is just too fucking good. No film should be this visually arresting. In fact, every aesthetic facet of this film is outstanding, from the colors to the set design to the music. BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW is a bizarre, hypnotic, haunting experience like no other.
And yet the film is not…
Light. Red light. Yellow light. Sculpting with light. The 80s. The synthesizer. The power of the synthesizer. The power of the slow droney wail of the synthesizer. Light. Mirrors. Light. Subterranean thrill of prowling camera. Retro charm of computer interface. Mindscape. Kubrick. Lynch. Apichatpong. Unrequited love. Shiny yellow cube thing. Pulsing diamond-shaped white thing. Michael Rogers, best wacko scientist since Dieter Laser. Light. White light. Light. The sublime. The sublime. The sublime.
Rarely does a movie with a very slow pace work for me, this is one of the few that did.
Ambitious, Trippy, weird, 80s atmospheric sci-fi. Stunning visuals and perfect OST for captivating the mood and tone of the film. But it didn't work big time for me as I couldn't sense or connect much with the plot. So many comparing this with space Odyssey. It's total bollocks comparison. But watch out for this director. He has very good potential.
Sure, it's style over substance, but when the style is this strong and assured, it BECOMES substance. It's a beautifully cinematic love letter to first-time director Cosmatos's influences, which seemingly include THX1138, Italian giallos, and Stanley Kubrick. Cosmatos has categorized Beyond the Black Rainbow as "trance film", a subgenre of his own creation that includes personal favorites Apocalypse Now and Phase IV.
Recommended for fans of the weird, and the stylized.
Nine Things About the Movie “Beyond the Black Rainbow” [Canada, 2010]
1. There are four kinds of drug movies:
a) movies about how terrible drugs are - most movies are of this type.
b) movies that show drugs are funny and harmless - these are the weed movies like “Friday” and “Pineapple Express”.
c) movies that can only really be appreciated if you are on drugs - movies like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “Brazil”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, or “Apocalypse Now”..
d) then there is the most rare movie of all - the movie that is itself a drug. These are movies that try to cause you to feel the same way that a psychedelic experience will.
Wanted to absolutely love this film but I merely liked it. I really dug the abstract plot and general weirdness but found my mind wandering occasionally rather than being totally transfixed like I was in, for example, Under the Skin. Still an intriguing exercise in the sensory power cinema can have.
Definitely a 'love it or loathe it' movie, Beyond The Black Rainbow tells the story of a young woman's attempt to escape from the confines of the mysterious Arboria Institute. That's about all I can be completely sure about, as the plot firmly takes a back seat to the look and sound of the film. Imagine a collaboration between Kubrick, Fulci, Argento, Carpenter and a young George Lucas and you're someway towards understanding the whole aesthetic of the film. It's a slow, deliberately paced experience, designed to disorientate and unsettle. Stumble upon it by accident and I'd imagine most viewers won't last 15 minutes. However, those who have sought it out, will find plenty to enjoy. The direction is excellent,…
Good+ experimental scifi/thriller with a little too much pretension in some areas. It could also benefit from a 20 min trim imo because while the opening focuses the daunting paranoia and claustrophobia nicely when I, as a viewer, am allowed to wander around my mind's eye so to speak, I should never be thinking "outside the movie" in a way that takes away from the effect, but the opening here was just too slow and had me mentally check listing every trope and gimmick ever used by some of my favorite movies. Yes, some of my favorites, but what does that matter if I'm thinking of those when I need to be thinking of what's in front of me, especially…
If at the beginning I quickly thought of a clear influence from Kubrick's scifi mise-en-scene, by the end of BTBB the references are so many that it's again what the danish director Refn said about that (a paraphrase of what he said can be 'Let them who film without references, cast the first stone' ). Just to quickly add a couple of things, rather than going on forever about what I spotted: I should metaphorically place this near-masterpiece at a 'far-out' location at the same distance from Mehrige's 'Begotten' on one direction (there's something experimental in BTBB that almost miraculously worked for my taste, quite similarly to how the other film I mentioned instead failed, at least for its entire…
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
- The Cremaster Cycle
- Sweet Movie
- The Holy Mountain
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
ranges from entry-level weird to...Cremaster
not necessarily disturbing, but it helps