19 October 2012

omg omg omg omg omg.

27. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! I loved this movie! (Okay, well... I didn't love the last ten minutes—at all, but I understand what the filmmaker was trying to do. It just didn't work for me. But despite this tonally jarring conclusion, I still love the movie. The first hour and forty minutes are just too fucking good to be pissed on by a bad creative decision at the end, and since the movie isn't really plot-oriented, overall damage to the integrity of the film is—I think—minimal.)

You know how Netflix tries to predict how many stars you'll give a movie you haven't seen based on the ratings you've given films you have seen? Well, since I have rated around 2,000 movies on the site, I've thoroughly confused the Netflix metric. It's no longer terribly confident that it can discern what might please my mercurial tastes. As a result, I would estimate that it predicts a rating of two to three stars for 90% of movies in the Netflix catalog. If Netflix predicts three stars, I'm reasonable sure I'll find something of value in the film—even I don't end up dry humping it. On the other hand, if Netflix predicts fewer than two-and-a-half stars, it's good bet I'll quit watching the movie before I get to the end. So—as you can see—this half star interval is a very small window of opportunity for quality entertainment. 

Yesterday as I was browsing the 'new releases' (quite a few of which are six months old, as per usual), I noticed that Beyond the Black Rainbow had been added. I'd never heard a thing about it before, but Netflix predicted a three-and-a-half star rating for me. Do you know how rarely the Netflix metric is willing to go out on a limb and anticipate a rating higher than three stars for me? You don't? Well, it's really, really rare. Trust me. 



Score one for the metric! This creepy sci-fi-horror homage is all about mood—and not much else—so if you're a film viewer who is unable to suspend the desire-to-know in favor of a languid fever dream, then hit the bricks. This flick ain't for you. It's set in 1983... or I should say in a funhouse version of 1983, where the vibe is frosty, retro-futuristic, and emotionally antiseptic. Elena, a mute teenager with powers of telepathy, is being terrorized by an haute-sinister psychotherapist at the Arboria sanitarium, a place so steely-cold and arctic-white that it makes Kubrick's 2001 spacecraft interiors look like a knotty pine cottage by comparison.



The reference to Kubrick is pointed—because Beyond the Black Rainbow is very much a delirious, drug-fueled homage. It's difficult to place all the visual quotes in the film, but there are very clear nods to Kubrick, Alejandro Jodorowsky, early Cronenberg, Phantasm, and even John Carpenter. I know that it's not a movie for everyone—you kind of have to be ready to let go of yourself for a couple hours and bask (or wallow, as they case may be) in a hyper-stylized, synth-drenched nightmare—but it's certainly the holy grail for a very particular audience. Namely, mine.

Here's the trailer. Check it out:

4 comments:

  1. Hm. My netflix metric anticipates me liking nearly everything. Weird, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Must get Netflix back...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. Have you seen Enter the Void?

      Delete
  3. Looks like it has a very THX-1138 feel to it.

    ReplyDelete