Philadelphia Film Festival: ‘Beyond the Black Rainbow’

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Directed by Panos Cosmatos

Canada, 2010

If any of the many 1980s-synth-homage bands out there right now need a music video they should call Panos Cosmatos immediately. His Beyond the Black Rainbow, while failing to serve much feature-length cinematic purpose, is the perfect vehicle for a 3 ½ minute, leather-clad, red-saturated, Knight Rider-esque, video accompaniment.

Unfortunately, Beyond the Black Rainbow runs 110 minutes (making it, by my count, about 106.5 minutes too long). The plot, which mixes a bit of horror and science fiction references including

Cronenberg, Argento, Kubrick, and Lucas, into its plodding pace, is certainly secondary to director Cosmatos’ visuals. A mad scientist Barry (Michael Rogers) keeps a young, mysterious girl Elena (Eva Allen) locked in an equally mysterious, sterile labyrinth. Barry’s got some issues. He’s also got a dark past, personified by his former mentor Mercurio (Scott Hylands), whom he now injects with drugs on a regular basis.

Cosmatos doesn’t seem to care much for his own script. He instead focuses on an overwhelming amount of close-ups, which contribute to the claustrophobic feel of the piece, an obviously digitally manipulated image-veneer, a pulsing, bass-driven soundtrack, and color schema that frequently bathes the entire frame in variations of red.  Fine visuals at times, the problem is that these don’t add up to much. What seems to want to be a partly comedic, partly philosophical treatise on…something…turns into a race for which actor can move the slowest and emote the least.

It’s difficult to tell whether the close-ups, which become increasingly tiresome, are a result of Cosmatos’ desire to intentionally cramp the space of the film, or of set limitations. To his credit, the wide-shots at the end of Beyond the Black Rainbow do feel liberating, though by that time it’s far too little, and far too late.


– Neal Dhand

Visit the website for the Philadelphia Film Festival 

Add Comment

50 CEOs Who Never Went to College (and how they managed to succeed)
10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
7 Best Golf Courses in St. Augustine, Florida
25 Bachelor Party Movie Ideas
People playing the clarinet
10 Different Types of Clarinets
11 Different Types of Drums
A bowl of oatmeal porridge
7 Different Types of Porridge
Shots of tequila
5 Different Types of Tequila (Plus Tequila Cocktails)
Fresh kale in a bowl
10 Different Types of Kale
8 Different Types of Cantaloupes
A Man in a Suit Opening a Car’s Door
9 Different Types of Car Doors
Headlights of a black car
9 Different Types of Headlights
19 Different Types of Construction Vehicles
Fire Truck with Warm Yellow Lights
9 Different Types of Fire Trucks
54 Different Types of Sports Played (Individual and Team Sports)
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Camera Stores for the Perfect Pics