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Martha Travis is a medium who makes contact with spirits "on the other side" and connects them with their loved ones still alive, in public performances. Trouble begins when she gives a message to Mary Kuron from her husband, Tom. But Tom isn't dead - yet. And Martha not only knows he will die, she also knows who killed him. And the murderer knows she knows. Her exploitative elderly alcoholic father and manager, Walter Travis, and Gary Wallace, a skeptical investigative reporter fascinated by the story who eventually falls for Martha, try to protect her, and so does the skeptical police - or do they.Written by
Yuval Kfir <yuval.kfir@Indigo.co.il>
While filming his previous movie, an action TV film set in Florida called Florida Straits (1986) with Raul Julia and Fred Ward, director Mike Hodges fell in love with the locations of Charlotte, North Carolina where the movie was actually being filmed. He planned to return there to shoot again in the future, but once he finally did for Black Rainbow, he realized that the old town was gone, so he had to rebuild many of the old houses and buildings to get the setting he wanted. Coincidentally, there's an unintentional reference to this in the movie when Robards' character mentions that 'the developers have arrived'. With this, Hodges wanted to point out that even the town itself was losing its identity and being callously destroyed and reshaped just like the planet itself. See more »
The script is filled with a series of chilling twists which Hodges plays with an absolute and certain confidence - the eeriness as Arquette's first vision starts to come, and her agitation and attempts to cover as what she is performing turns to real; the second vision where she reels off a list of names of the dead trying to contact the living and said people still alive in the audience start standing up puzzled. Hodges' depiction of a seedy con-job slowly becoming darker is beautifully written. The imagery as Arquette's vistas of heavenly meadows and tranquil afterlife cliches start to change into impressions of cancers, empty lives and of people suffering is a stunning and powerful one. The final soliloquy Arquette gives, coming out to taunt the audience - how they want there to be an afterlife so they can confirm their own lives, how if there wasn't an afterlife and what they had was all that they were given, then wouldn't that make her a fake ? - is superbly written and utterly rivetting in delivery. Arquette's performance in the film is exceptional.
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