Friday, May 23, 2014

BLACK MOON (1975) - Louis Malle

It helps if you're in already in a Surrealist mood before watching Louis Malle's intriguingly skewed Black Moon. Or at least in a Joe Dallesandro mood. Think "Alice in Wonderland" but set in a war-torn bucolic landscape. Or potentially war-torn...the bombs and explosions and gas-masked soldiers could all just be in young Lily's head. So could all the naked children running around, the talking rat, the old grandma with the ham radio who breastfeeds from younger women when she's hungry. So could the eagle that gets its head lopped off mid-flight, the unicorn that keeps appearing and occasionally speaks in other people's voices. For that matter, so could old Joe Dallesandro. Let's hope he's just a really bad dream. Both the eagle and Joe.

Dream or no, I want to call this a "good" movie, but I'll stick with "highly interesting." Black Moon feels like it comes from the same anarchic impulse that birthed Malle's Zazie Dans Le Metro, but that impulse plays out here in a slower, more somber but equally "wacky" mood. There are no men in polar bear suits, but I will say this: The movie begins with the lead running over a skunk in her car in a three-minute long shot and ends in a freeze-frame with her preparing to breastfeed a unicorn. Aren't you just the slightest bit intrigued?

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