Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Black Moon" by Diego Masson


Louis Malle's "Black Moon" (1975) doesn't have much music in it; the lack of a soundtrack somehow adds to the surrealism and anytime music does emerge it is either being played on a piano onscreen by the main unnamed character played by Cathryn Harrison; or sung by the also unnamed male lead played by Joe Dallesandro, or, in one of the film's creepier scenes, created by cat walking across a piano. Both actor's performances are Wagner pieces; the former a love duet from "Tristan und Isolde"; and the latter "Prize Song" from "Die Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg" (both adapted by Diego Masson). The duet from Tristan und Isolde is particularly astonishing in that it is sung by young children which makes it sound other-worldly, and the dearth of music up to that point only punctuates this effect.

The film itself is completely mind blowing for the first 20 minutes; after that it occasionally works and mostly doesn't. It is definitely worth checking out for its beautiful, surreal moments. It is part of the Criterion Collection - you can watch it on Hulu Plus in HD if you have a subscription.

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