Tuesday, August 18, 2015

THE BLACKOUT (1997) - Abel Ferrara

The Blackout hereby gets my vote for the most self-indulgent indie film of the 1990s. It's basically 98 arduous minutes of Matthew Modine pawing lecherously at a bored Beatrice Dalle. That is, when he's not pining and sobbing over her pre-recorded video image. If you're going to spend a whole movie pawing or pining over any French actress, Betty Blue would certainly be at the top of that list. But the improvisational manner in which Abel has poor Modine paw and pine is a shameful thing.

This being Abel in the '90s, there are also stops along the way for excessive binge drinking and hits of crack cocaine. Modine is a spoiled actor going through an "existential crisis," though his character is too much of a douche for you to feel sorry for him in the slightest. Even when he finally starts to get over Dalle and marries Claudia Schiffer, the dude still binges. HE STILL COMPLAINS. Add in a few needless scenes with prostitutes and Dennis Hopper as a manipulative video director doing a half-assed Frank Booth impression, and what have you got? A navel-gazing self-reflexive mess even harder to sit through than Dangerous Game.

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