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
At the end of the promotional video for "Arboria" at the very beginning of the movie, the roman numerals for the copyright date translate to 1966. See more »
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 »
performed by SSQ
written by Jon St. James & John Van Tongeren
published by Jon St. James/FT Music/John Van Tongeren
Courtesy of FT Music & Jon St. James See more »
A heart attack set to film
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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