Thursday, November 21, 2013

Criterion on Hulu: Black Moon (1975)

Black Moon movie poster
Black Moon (1975) - Directed by Louis Malle; Written by Malle, Joyce Bunuel, Ghislain Uhry; Starring Cathryn Harrison, Therese Giehse, Alexandra Stewart, Joe Dallesandro.

By Kenny Howell

It's hard to really say what is going on in Black Moon.

The surrealist fantasy is set in a world where men and women are at war with each other, that part seems certain, but what comes after that is a bit unsure.

It is sort of an Alice in Wonderland story, but just a lot weirder. There are talking unicorns, naked kids running around herding animals, a woman who is confined to a bed listening to the radio while conversing with her pet rat in a weird language and occasionally being breast fed by two of the female cast mates, an incestuous brother and sister, and much more nuttiness.

I have read that Louis Malle (Elevator to the Gallows) wanted to set this story in a primitive, mythological time where people worshiped the Earth, conversed with animals, and everything is connected. That is all fine and good, and you do get the feel in the movie, but the surreal nature of the film (some of it is from Malle's dreams) never really encouraged me to go deeper. It just seemed like it was weird for weird sake. There is something in that which I appreciate, but I feel that the movie was trying to say something. I can't say the movie didn't leave an impression on me, but I am either too stupid to understand it, or Malle didn't give enough to give this story any cohesion. I am not the smartest guy in the world, but I am leaning toward the latter.

Black Moon is available on Hulu as a part of the Criterion Collection.

Rating: **

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