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Beyond the Black Rainbow
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Beyond the Black Rainbow More at IMDbPro »

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217 out of 245 people found the following review useful:

If you are into weird movies (like me), you will probably dig this

Author: Paulie Gatto from Denver, CO
13 November 2011

OK so for convenience, I'll just break it down to the kind of people who will like this movie, vs. those who won't. You pick your category and then you will know if you should see it. Because 1 out of 20 people will love this, and the rest will think it is the worst movie ever.

You will love it if: 1: You felt 2001 could have been even slower paced and still be awesome 2: You love really thinky sci-fi even if it doesn't involve people shooting aliens 3: You are crazy in love with 80's hair styles and weird synth music (this movie takes place in 1983, and takes that responsibility VERY seriously) 4: You loved Agent Smith's delivery of lines in The Matrix, and would have liked it if he talked even more slowly and threateningly 5: You think the only good sci-fi is 70's Russian sci-fi

You will hate this movie if: 1: You enjoy having more than one person deliver lines over the course of two hours (basically one speaking part in this movie, though the actor does a good job) 2: You don't like when movies are very, very pretentious 3: You like your movies to generally make an effort to make sense (at one point I swear the main guy gets a phone call from Speak-n-Spell) 4: You don't like when movies spend a considerable amount of their running time trying to injure the viewer's senses 5: You like a really good ending (if you look over the reviews, whether people loved or hated this movie everyone agrees the ending was weak)

All things considered, I really liked this movie, and so did the people I saw it with. But that's a bunch of film geeks. If you're a weird film geek too, I recommend it.

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84 out of 118 people found the following review useful:

Great

9/10
Author: Eli Just from United States
9 November 2011

I saw this film at the AFI film festival. Before the film started the director said "I hope you're as messed up in the head as I was when I made this film." He was very right. The film is not for everybody, nor should it be. It is long, confusing, and I loved every minute of it. It is a film you have to buy into to enjoy, but once you're in you're in for a trip. A brilliant piece of science fiction, and contains one of the scariest scenes I have seen in a long time. The cinematography was also brilliant and some phenomenal lighting. This movie is not for those with a short attention span, but anybody who can sit through 2001, Enter the Void or Stalker should love this film.

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96 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

A refreshing feast for an open mind

10/10
Author: SonOfSalem from Canada
18 March 2012

OK... lets say, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch smoked a sackful of 'Gaia Essence', a ripe ole bag of the stuff. Then, Andy Warhol dropped over with a flask full of 'Dream Mana' and the three had a right old time bouncing crazy ideas and concepts and decided after three straight days of inter-perceptionary travel, to make a movie... 'Beyond the Black Rainbow' is probably as close as you might ever get to seeing the labors from any such fictional collaboration.

I loved it. I can't wait to watch it again. If you believe you have an open mind, or consider yourself to be even remotely intelligent I would advise you to give this a chance. The devil is in the details. There is a new talent among us, and we as film fans should be grateful that someone like Panos Cosmatos has the balls to do things his way and present something that at the very least, is something f***ing different and refreshing.

I'll leave you with this, take from it what you will, I once showed one of my favorite sci fi's to a friend who is a die hard Star Wars fan, he hated it and thought it was stupid and slow; it was 'THX 1138' by George Lucas.

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62 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

A deliberately paced trip into the dark recesses of the cold, cold '80s

8/10
Author: Clayon Pope from United States
14 April 2012

It's the cold, shiny time of 1983. In what looks like a sci-fi future vision via the Kubrickian '60s a utopia is created to try to grant happiness to the masses via a complex regime of meditation, nature, and pharmacology--and absolute isolation in the sterile confines of building that somewhat resembles a fluorescent spaceship crash-landed within the sparse flora of a desolate earth. This utopia has been tainted by evil, and our savior is a near mute, beguiling beauty that must break through harm's way in order to regain some normalcy to her life, a life born to such a world and never matured entirely, and if this task is not achieved could possibly alter the future for us all. This is the topsy-turvy, slowly moving, marvelously rendered, and absolutely bewildering world of Beyond the Black Rainbow. This film, written and directed by Panos Cosmatos (whose daddy made several he-man action films in the actual '80s), turns lo-fi film grain, stark sets, odd camera angles, and eternal pauses in dialogue and action into a strange mosaic that is more of a compilation of what came to define hard science fiction films from the late 1960s to mid 1980s. The film begins like a post-script to "2001", or an early David Cronenberg film mutates into what resembles the "Rising" shorts of Kenneth Anger, and finally settles into the paranoia of Lucas' "THX 1138" mixed again with the mutations of the body that so intrigued Cronenberg's early efforts. This film for a small subset of film buffs, and in conception and tone most resembles the genre shot comp that was 2009's "Amer". Where that film aped sequences from Italian giallos, this seems to be doing the same for American and Russian science movies. This film feels like an experiment, or more to the point an exercise, but it is a worthwhile, rewarding viewing for their trouble in taking the trippy voyage laid out before them. I recommend it to viewers with patience and acceptance of story lines that are mostly devoid of linear narratives (you know who you are). -CP 8/10

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56 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

The sort of thing you like if you're into that sort of thing

7/10
Author: crownofsprats
1 July 2012

A young girl is held under heavy sedation at the mysterious Arboria institute - the brainchild of Dr. Mercurio Arboria, a pioneer of spheres like "benign pharmacology" and "energy sculpting". She is under the ward of Dr. Barry Nyle, who has taken a special interest in her case. Who is she? Will she escape?

You may have read reviews where the critics mercilessly lambaste it, saying stuff like "I have no idea what they were thinking letting this crap into the festival", "vomit-inducing bore", etc. If you are curious whether or not this is worth your time, let me just point a few things out:

1. Yes, it does have a plot, and most (if not all) of the scenes are in service to that plot - in other words, no random visuals simply for the sake of random visuals. Though conceptually weird, everything you see is more or less explainable in some way or another by the internal logic of the film. Anyone who wrote "plot loosely centers around" or anything similar in their review simply didn't understand what was going on.

2. Sure, it's long and quite slow. So if you are not into the film's aesthetic (see trailer), you will probably get bored. But if you are into drony synth scores, atmospheric horror cinematography a la Dario Argento, viscerally creepy characters, and slow-moving psychedelia (if you have, um, access, you should really heed the director's advice before starting to watch this), then it's pretty freakin' awesome. Were you totally blown away by Enter The Void? Then you might like this.

3. It is definitely not sloppy or unfinished in any way. This is a highly-polished, careful piece of work that stays true to its own vision of what it should be. It should be respected for that, if for nothing else.

Personally, I am glad I can support cinema like this with my $10. This is definitely not for everyone, but it rewards its fans. It did have a few minor drawbacks, which I suspect are the result of a rather tight budget (it's a debut, and a risky one at that). The pacing itself was fine, but the Arboria institute could have used slightly more variety - a little bit more setting (though what they did with what little they had is amazing), maybe one or two more supporting/incidental characters. Also, it's kind of hard to hear what the characters are saying at times. Somewhat surprising, because the sound design plays a huge role in the film and the person they had did a great job otherwise. So keep your ears open. Finally, the ending *is* a bit on the weak side, although in my opinion it was kind of appropriate even though I can see how people might take issue with it.

All in all, looking forward to seeing what Mr. Cosmatos has in store for us next.

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43 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Throw back horror film either clicks and you go with it or it doesn't and you run screaming from the theater

7/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
8 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Beyond the Black Rainbow is a very strange film.Its a supreme WTF film. Its a trippy movie that thirty years ago would have been a regular at midnight screenings. Its a visually stunning film with a wonderfully weird soundscape soundtrack. It's a stylistic throw back to the pretentious but cheap horror and science fiction films of the early 1980's (some of which came from Europe). It's full of riffs and references to at least a dozen or so other films...

...it's also pretentious twaddle, way too long and has one of the biggest "you have got to be joking" endings in years. It's an ending that just wrecks pretty much all the good will it may have created (seriously I could feel the audience at the Tribeca Film Festival, which struggled with this film to the bitter end, suddenly break with it at the end).

The plot of the film has something to do with a weird clinic in 1983 where a strange man runs strange tests on young woman. What exactly is going on is never fully explained but it has something to do with an experiment years before, about the time the young lady was born. There are theses weird guys in suits, and straitjackets and psychic powers...

...and other than that you're on you're own.

On a certain level I like the film. I liked the throw back nature of it. I loved the look of the film (the color scheme is amazing and some of the images are haunting)and the retro electronic score. I liked the enigma and the references (Phantasm, Soylent Green, The Final Programme, 2001 and others). I also liked that we aren't told anything and that we have to piece most of it together.

What I don't like is the glacial pace, which makes this a long 110 minutes, Nor do I like the finale which turns the film from head trip to slasher film to the wrong sort of joke in the course of about five minutes. Seriously the next to last bit just wrecked the film.

Then again, if you can forgive the out of left field, "oh crap we're out of time so lets sum this up" ending (which is hard since it's kind of a cop out), I'll recommended for the patient and adventurous film goer. If you want form over substance and can allow yourself to get lost in the trippy sound and image you'll probably think it was worth a go...then again there were several walk outs.

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34 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Great Visuals - Lost Identity - A Tale Of Two Halves

4/10
Author: djuleez from United Kingdom
7 October 2012

I went into this with no expectation whatsoever, so the first 40-50 minutes were amazing and original with bags of style conjuring an eager anticipation for what lay ahead for what appeared to be a low budgeter Sci-Fi/thriller that could definitely compete. However, the style soon became monotonous and predictable, ultimately undoing everything that had come before with its lack of progression. Editing was also exceptionally poor, where long drawn out episodes that worked so well in, say, the original version of "Solaris" or "2001", overstepped its original boldness by becoming irritating in the tiresome second half. But what appeared to be original and innovative was to become it's worst enemy - with so many options made available in the first half - the second half was a miserable let down. Any notion of this being a cerebral thriller utterly forsaken for....well....not a lot at the end of the day....with a its only goal to meet its mildly intriguing final shot.

I so want to recommend this for its brave and fresh (if derivative) approach, but - as a movie in its complete format - it was a very poor.

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32 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

I wasn't so crazy about it but i seem to be in the minority here

5/10
Author: Matthew Stechel (mateob25@aol.com) from United States
23 August 2012

Its a well done enough horror/suspense/David Cronenberg esque wtf kind of film--but after a while i kind of just wanted them to cut to the chase already. by which i mean there's a lot of set up and a lot of artfully done goosing of that set up--but it takes a good hour and a half if not longer before the actual ch as/confrontation between the two main characters that you spend most of the film waiting to happen finally happens. Don't get me wrong--this movie is trying and succeeds to a varying degree at capturing a certain style and certain flavor of suspense horror film---the director is quite clearly a fan of early Cronenberg--there's not just the obvious nod to Scanners but there's nods to The Brood and Shivers and even a slight one to videodrome in here as well (at least i thought i caught those maybe i'm wrong i don't know) and there are nods to other scare films of the early 80's as well--and certainly the whole tone and pace and set design and wardrobe and just everything about it is very much on the money for a suspense film from the early part of that decade--but i don't know, the movie also had a sort of sleepy effect on me---like as psychedelic as the director wants the movie to be (and it definitely is) you can only indulge in that kind of style so much before you just end up putting a guy like me into a kind of coma--and not the cool trance like one that i'm sure the director was hoping his film would have on its audience. You know there's only so much ranting and raving i could take from the good psychotic doctor and there's only so much self defense scenes i could take from the woman in the mental hospital before a part of me just wanted to scream Get on with it already movie! but eventually the movie does--and it does it well enough---but not so well enough that i can't help but think this movie should have probably been at least a half hour shorter then it was. Ehh whatever---i'm positive it will find its audience soon enough anyways and it will have a nice cult like following in the years to come--much like Cronenberg's early stuff does too.

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36 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

A heart attack set to film

9/10
Author: wandereramor from Canada
22 August 2012

Beyond the Black Rainbow is a sensory experience more than anything. Visually, it's full of strong colours and strange images, while aurally it comes at you with overpowering droning and noise. It's hard to find an easy comparison to the kind of stuff this film throws at you, and that can only be a good thing. Director Panos Cosmatos (what a name!) and his team have to be complimented for their imaginations.

The film itself is a tribute to sci-fi B-movies, but more than that it feels like a defense of experimental film itself: the strange is cooped up, institutionalized and dissected while the world of banal blockbusters rages outside. Of course, even without that reading this is a great example of experimental film that attacks on a level even the most conventional viewer has to feel.

This probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but for me it's a strong contender for film of the year. At the very least it's a reminder that there are still new avenues to explore in film, ones that don't follow the comforting traditions of either Hollywood or the art-house.

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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Mercurial indeed.

5/10
Author: Benton Phillips (Benton_Phillips) from England
9 September 2012

I heard about this title mid 2011 and has been near the top of my list ever since, not sure what the delay was in distribution but it's been quite a wait, which fuelled my desire to see this film. The instant I saw the trailer I was certain this was my kind of film, vague dialogue hinting a hidden depths, long drawn out scenes with sinister undertones and beautifully crafted futurism styled sets (maybe a little to Kubrick-esk) but still great looking. Everything was in place for a successful romp around a mercurial world spawned and brought to life in nightmarish vision by Panos Cosmatos.

But, for all it's promise and as much as I really wanted to love this film it did fall a little flat. The set design is beautifully crafted, and the high photography levels of some of the scenes is something to be admired, but on occasion a little arbitrary as some scenes did not drive character or narrative forwards nor did it express or emphasis emotions.

The narrative is overly grand which I like (keep it simple) and is deliberately slow and off-paced, which will definitely separate the film lovers from the average watcher that may have stumbled across this film, as you will need to invest a little concentration. There was a downfall to the film as mysterious and menacing atmosphere that it postured at the start did dissipate throughout the film.

This is a first attempt by a director who clearly has a cinematic eye with a good understanding of film taking inspiration from some great directors. Unfortunately he didn't quite create the level of intrigue found in a Kubrick film or a deliver the ruptured reality of a Lynch film and missed the overall depth of a Tarkovskiy film, but it wasn't without it's own moments.

Definitely worth your time - A steady start from a new director but it's worth remembering art house isn't an exact science, hopefully he will get the chance to produce more in the future.

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