Written by Panos Cosmatos
Directed by Panos Cosmatos
There’s been a welcome rush of audacious first features recently – Evan Glodell’s incendiary Bellflower and Daniel Cockburn’s witty, touching thought experiment You Are Here spring to mind, and now so does Panos Cosmatos’s gloriously odd Beyond the Black Rainbow, a low-budget sci-fi wonder that, like those other debuts, synthesizes a set of influences in order to present a cinematic vision that is startling in its confidence. It’s not as easy to love as those films, and its extreme aestheticism will alienate many (or even most) viewers, but that it is beautifully realized is impossible to deny.
Thanks to Rainbow‘s hallucinogenic nature, plot synopses should be taken with a grain of salt. After an opening infomercial establishes the sinister new-age tone,
Cosmatos’s creation will alienate a great many viewers with its exceedingly patient pacing, outrageous visual style, and cryptic plot and characters, but those willing to go along with the madness will find much to enjoy and appreciate. The “1966” sequence, in particular, is like nothing else in recent genre-movie history, a high-contrast nightmare
In a year that’s already had no shortage of confident debuts, Rainbow might not be the most fully-formed, but it’s almost certainly the most audacious. A neon nightmare that demands repeat viewings to fully grasp (if not comprehend), it announces Cosmatos as one of the most unique cinematic voices in recent Canadian history. Here’s hoping he gets to inflict even greater cinematic oddities in the near future.