Is this science fiction? It certainly starts that way! Kind of post-apocalyptic. Maybe not following a nuclear war but some other world-wide disaster has probably happened. I got a sense and feeling of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 sci-fi thriller Children Of Men to start with. The bleak and the gloom, the underlying air of sadness. Yes that was soon to change and oh, how we all laughed that I could have thought such a thing! Hehe. But first……
Bad times are here. In this idyllic countryside the reverse of tranquil is observed. The disconcerting, distant rumble of thunder and artillery fire! Smoke bellows from beyond the treelines. Pockets of gas masked soldiers break through the woods carrying rifles and machine guns……
A war is raging. It could be a civil war? Something is different. Units of soldiers comb through the beautiful countryside as death squads. At a crossroad blockade, soldiers sit upon a giant oversized cannon. Others lineup freedom fighters? Women! Before you know it they are all gunned down. Then, just to make sure, they reign more bullets in their corpses.
Then, with a twist, a man is cornered, floored, begging. The soldiers catch and beat to death this man, with a certain joy. The group of masked tormentors, wearing gas masks and branding weapons of fear are in fact, women. This warped war isn’t an invading army or a civil war, no! this is a gender war.
Stuck in the middle of this raging battle is Lily (Cathryn Harrison) and her orange cute looking Honda Z600. Lily, blond and innocent is strangely out-of-place. Wide eyed racing from one state of panic and confusion, to another. Smashing her speedy little Honda through bushes, between trees and over rocky ditches. If Honda didn’t use this footage to sell this crazy looking car then surely the head of advertising should have been repeatedly flogged. Just saying!
Up to this point this film reminded me in tone, as I said above, to Children Of Men. Yeah there was something, something that gave me that sense of dread, a world lost!
Haha! how wrong could I have been! From that point on is where we leave the planet! Science fiction melds with fantasy. Fantasy melds with the surreal. The oddball and weird, the peculiar, the kooky, the ludicrous. But wait, also, the most imaginative and stark raving mad, fantastic pieces of whimsical. Poetic insanity. Yeah Alice In Wonderland made out she had fun in a scary and bizarre world. Lily, well Lily goes further, she goes off to another realm? Does she? Who knows?
Lily has arrived at a cottage farmhouse. Run by androgynous siblings Brother Lily (Joe Dallesandro) and Sister Lily (Alexandra Stewart). Both are mute? Brother Lily projects opera when he cuts down trees! Did I mention it was surreal above? If so, then here’s a list of crazy that will make no sense until you watch it? Giggles. Here we go. Piano cat, a chubby donkey weird unicorn, alarm clocks. A bedridden CB radio obsessed Old Lady (Therese Giehse) A wallaby rat thing, naked shepherd children! Talking gibberish animals, an eagle. Oh wait there’s more. Christmas cheese and falling down bloomers? Close up creature sounds and the piece de resistance. Drum roll……. breastfeeding. Yep I know, nothing wrong with breastfeeding. (People familiar with a certain British comedy called Little Britain might recall “Bitty“)
I may have listed a few things but I assure you it won’t spoil the madness. There are references to time, telepathy, parallel realities, disillusion and flashes of crossed over events. Written and directed by Louis Malle. I’m sure this must of been a pet project where he let his imagination go right off the chart. It’s pure art house, surrealism and just plain lunacy. And I loved every single second of this film, I was completely locked in, transfixed. I was in the zone for the whole darn crazy story. Yep this is a 100% not for everyone film. Still, if you fancy something with a touch on the left-side? Black Moon is where it’s at.
Just a few things to add.
- Black Moon is in fact all in English despite its French director and filming location.
- The film is dedicated to Therese Giehse who unfortunately died not long after it had finished production.
- Joe Dallesandro was one of Andy Warhol friends and models. Famously an American sex symbol and actor. He is the cover model for The Smiths 1984 debut LP sleeve and also the bulge on The Rolling Stones 1971 cover Sticky Fingers. Also starring in many films.
- Alexandra Stewart graced her beauty on the amazing 1965 Mickey One with Warren Beatty amongst many other films. She was “gawd darn sexy” in my review I did here, Mickey One Free Jazz New Wave.
Have you seen this journey through the wonderful world of science fiction and fantasy? Let me know. If you dare to jump into the sea of mixed up tranquility please pop back and tell me about your trip.
Film also serves a curveball. Have fun…. Mikey Wolf