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The Black Angel had quite a profound affect on me, more so than The
Empire Strikes Back. I remember the Angel itself as being a fantastic
creation, ultra decayed evil, in the same style as Tolkien's Black
Riders. I also remember the cinematography was stunning, very dark and
I've been trying to get in touch with Roger Christian about the movie through both Warner Brothers (who didn't want to know), and Stonelock Pictures (company behind his current project, Gilgamesh). I'm still waiting to hear from them. My only other option, I can think of, is to try George Lucas, being as it was originally shown with The Empire Strikes Back and he was involved in funding the project in the first place.
I'll keep you posted chaps. But any help and advice would be gratefully received.
Well I'm pleased to say after years of searching and metaphorically banging on peoples doors, I've had a result, and it really does restore your faith in the power of the internet. I have managed to contact Roger and quizzed him about the film.
Here is the response I got:
Dear Andy, it has touched me as i received many letters like yours at the time it was released with Empire Strikes Back and since then they continue. It was made specifically for the movie as George was upset about the short film with Star Wars. I am trying to find the 35 mm master to convert it, but somewhere in vaults in the Uk there is a beta copy and one day when I return there i will get some DVD's run off. It is interesting really as when it was shown industry people like ?David Putnam hated it and told me i should stop directing, but it was the response from the public who were deeply touched by the film that made me go on as a film maker. I will somehow let everyone know when I do get a DVD copy. all best and thank you again for your kind words. Roger Christian
Now how cool is that :) Roger, you the man...!!!!!
12/3/10 Yet another update.
Thought you might be interested in this interview with Roger which he talks at length about Black Angel, and the possibility or a release.... or not. Roger, please release this in some form..!!! :)
http://www.shadowlocked.com/index.php? option=com_content&view=article&id=134: exclusive-interview-the-worlds- of-roger-christian&catid=47: movie-interviews
I've had to split up the URL a little in order to be able to post it. You'll need to put it back together before visiting the interview page.
31/12/12 The best update yet...!!!!
This is stunning news. The original negatives have been found at Universal, and to quote "Christian is still debating how to share Black Angel with fans...".
More info can be found here: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/12/20-12-pl_blackangel/
Thanks to David Freeman for the heads up :)
10/01/2014 Another fantastic update thanks to Mark Grey.
According to Wikipedia the movie will be available on Netflix and iTune early this year (2014). Finally :)
20/05/2014 Final update.
At long last this movie is now available on iTunes. Only £1.99 for the HD copy. :) Very happy person...!!!!
I saw this in the UK when it was the opening act for "The Empire
Strikes Back". That was back in the day when you got a double-bill of
two movies, or at least a movie and a short. A full generation has
passed and I can still remember it vividly, even after seeing it only
At first I thought I was watching some time filler on the topic of pony-trekking... and then I noticed the rider had an axe by his saddle. Ahah; my interest immediately jumped a few notches. The things I recall most readily are the hero's helm with its entwined snake, his opponent's unusual maul for a weapon, and the armour which seemed grey with spider webs. In fact the armour was really something to see, being very dark but not quite black.
I do hope this comes out on DVD at some point. I had read many years back that it might be done as a full-blown movie. Either way, I want to see it.
moving, memorable, ultra-Gothic - the sort of imagery that shapes lives
this is a short that walks in your nightmares ...
but WHERE OH WHERE has it gone? I can still see much of it in my mind's eye even after almost a quarter century, but I'd love to be able to watch it again - and again - and again ...
ROGER: please please consider including BlackAngel as some kind of 'bonus track' on the eventual DVD release of your latest project "Gilgamesh"
...Then it better at least be good!
I saw this short...countless times, as it was released in the UK spliced onto the front of "The Empire Strikes Back". I must have viewed this about 30 times, as a consequence.
This short film, which had a Princess held in thrall to a supernatural creation, sticks in my memory long after other shorts have been been long forgotten.
Medieval in tone and filmed on wind-blasted landscapes, watery glades, and
decrepit turrets, I remember the Princess phrase to the hero: "I am bound, to the Black Angel", as if it were yesterday.
I'd love a copy of this movie!
The best short film that i can remember was this little gem.Beautifully shot and very moody, this flick was very interesting to the eye, as well as having a simple, but effective storyline. This without a doubt should be released to the public in the form of a collection of other shorts or just by itself on DVD.
I saw this film like other people as a short before The Empire Strikes Back, and I must say I found it a curious but extremely dark and memorable pairing up. Its medieval and gothic overtones certainly coloured my experience of Empire, for good or bad. I would love to see it again, as an adult instead of a, then, scared and bewildered 6 year old. Worth a look, if you get the opportunity.
I saw Emprie Strikes Back many times at the cinema - so I saw Black Angel
just as many times. I'd love to see it again - can anyone out there help
me? Does anyone know who the cast were?
I found the images from this film so striking that I can still see some of them now.
Great stuff this. I kept going back to see "Empire" as much for this short as for the film itself. (Tony Vogel's kids went to my school: I even remember having cello lessons with his daughter Anna...) Loads of fog, castles, an ethereal maiden and a bizarre "grim reaper" type figure watching over her. "Spare the child!!! Take my life instead!!!" Can't wait to see it again. It also had good music, trying to emulate "gothic" style voices, the kind you associate with the Hyperion music label. I was 12 and a half years old, and simply couldn't get it out of my mind. Even Excalibur, which came out exactly one year later, just seemed gratuitous and silly by comparison. I really hope the master is found so a DVD transfer can be made: let me know when it happens....
Like the others who have commented, this film remains deeply embedded
in my mind, a quarter of a century after I saw it for the first and
It would be fascinating to see how it has aged, and to exorcise the partially submerged memories of various elements that feature in this short film. The helmet sequence at the end - if I remember it correctly - is one of the few images I can still recall with clarity. The rest of the film lurks somewhere inside my being like a musty odour inaccessible to anyone's nostrils, including my own.
Today's kids would probably find this woefully tame, and it probably is nothing more than a load of old faux-medieval tosh with heavily filtered skies like a proto-Robin of Sherwood. However, at the time - for a child - there was something that resonated very strongly with the subsequent mood of the swamp scene in Empire Strikes Back... which, arguably, was more alarming with its Freudian dream sequence of Skywalker decapitating himself / his father, if I recall correctly (another one I haven't watched for a very, very long time).
What on earth was the Lucas-Christian axis trying to do the minds of toddlers back then? Whatever it was, it mashed my head so much that I am now compelled to drone on about it on a popular internet film forum such as this one, as if I am at an AA meeting or similar support group.
As you were.
Well, after 33 years I was finally able to revisit 'Black Angel' at the restoration premiere last Sunday at Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley Film Festival. An extraordinary film - and an extraordinary experience collapsing the gulf of time between viewings into a few short minutes and finding some core images reasonably intact, with other elements archetypal enough to be strangely familiar, without directly accessible memory. "I'm going to bypass your forebrain and appeal directly to your amygdala."
Things are looking good for this film being made much more widely available in 2014 - I'd advise anyone who sees this once again (or for the first time) to be especially careful with spoilers, as there will be quite a few people from the UK, Scandinavia and Australia eager to experience their own "chronological vertigo"... 33-year-old spoilers are the absolute pits :)
Like others, I saw this film as a child just before watching Empire Strikes Back,and to be honest until I read the recent news about it being rediscovered by Universal, I had forgotten it was a real film - it was so dream-like and ethereal. I have also seen 'Gawain and the Green Knight' and 'Excalibur' a few times and I guess all of them have become a bit mixed in my mind. The Black Angel was definitely a haunting piece of cinema, and I can't wait to see it again, and show it to my son - I am sure it would appeal to children today, even if it may seem a bit old-fashioned. I miss the custom of having a short film with the main feature - it was a nice tradition, although sometimes the short might seem a bit 'random'. Not this one though - it was excellent.
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