Spanning over two decades of research and innovation from the 1960s to the early-1980s, the Arboria Institute--a secluded New Age commune and a state-of-the-art research facility--and the pill-popping psychiatrist, Dr Barry Nyle, are particularly interested in their newest specimen: the female patient, Elena. To begin to understand her mind-boggling telekinetic and telepathic abilities, the demented doctor keeps Elena heavily sedated and in a constant catatonic state; however, her capabilities are unfathomable. What are Dr Nyle's deeper intentions? In the end, could the institute's utopian doctrine be flawed after all?Written by
In the Arboria Institute's promo film, dated MCMLXVII (1967), the Arboria logo is set in the Avant Garde font. This font was based on the logo of Avant Garde magazine, created in 1968, and wasn't available as a full typeface until 1970. See more »
[while holding baby Elena and before submerging her into the black goo]
Your mother's reabsorption into the cycle of life won't be for nothing, my darling, Elena. You will be the dawning of a new era for the human race... and the human soul. Let the new age of enlightenment begin!
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After the end credits, there is a shot of a Sentionaut action figure lying on the floor while the distorted electronic speech that Nyle heard over the phone is audible in the background. See more »
A deliberately paced trip into the dark recesses of the cold, cold '80s
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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