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 Nürnberg" (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.