A debauched Hollywood movie actor tries to piece together one wild night in Miami years earlier which remains a drug-induced blur, and soon finds out that some questions about his past are best left unanswered.
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Matty is a film star who is tired of Hollywood life and moves to Miami, where he makes a proposal to his girlfriend Annie. She is not ready to marry him, and it is revealed that she had an abortion. Depressed because he lost his baby (though it was him who initially asked for abortion), Matty, together with his friend Micky, go on a wild night, they meet a waitress also called Annie and in the end of the night Matty passes out. A year and a half later Matty lives in New York, leads a clean life visiting AA meetings and has a relationship with attractive blonde Susan. He is still obsessed with Annie and returns to Miami, where unexpected news about Annie 2 (the waitress) waits for him. Written by
Abel Ferrara's "Blackout" stars Matthew Modine as Matty, a self-loathing addict and Hollywood actor. Essentially a feature length short story, the film watches as Matty attempts to both crawl his way out of addiction and atone for an event which happened during a memory blackout. To say any more would be to spoil Ferrara's plot.
Suffice to say that Ferrara's aesthetic perfectly echoes Matty's hallucinatory mindset. Hazy and trance-like, and set in the slime-world of a neon-lit Miami, the film moves like a lava lamp. When he's not salivating over drugs and booze, Matty's knee deep in strippers, beautiful women and pornography. This, of course, all echoes Ferrara's own life; he was himself once an addict and pornographer.
"Blackout's" plot eventually becomes something akin to Hitchcock's "Vertigo". Here Matty is revealed to be a deeply disturbed man who chases doubles and who hungers irrationally for ghostly women. Unsurprisingly, Ferrara's portrayal of an addict/alcoholic is sympathetic and crackles with authenticity; Ferrara knows his material well. Strange for a film which features copious female nudity, the film sympathises with its women. Ferrara's nudity may be gratuitous, but is rarely erotic. The film co-stars a mostly inept Dennis Hopper and a occasionally raw and powerful Mathew Modine.
7.9/10 Worth one viewing.
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