Friday, July 22, 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 20: Your Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film

A Favorite (Movie that is Both Sci-Fi and Fantasy): Black Moon
There are simply too many films I like in both of these categories (though sci-fi wins) for me to possibly choose from them.  That said, I’ve decided to narrow the options by replacing that slash (as though all ‘geek’ genres were created equal) and subbing in an ‘and.’    Because considering Blade Runner’s dream unicorns as fantasy elements would be cheating, let’s talk about Black Moon!  As filmmakers go, Louis Malle is a truly eclectic one.  His resume spans continents, languages, and topics.  He’s responsible for the darling Nouvelle Vague comedy Zazie dans le Metro, the oh-so-serious wartime flick you watched three times in high school French class (Au Revoir, Les Enfants), and two hours of watching the Grand Nagus (that’s Wallace Shawn, for those who don’t speak Trek) talk about his life.  Somewhere in between these films is the absolutely oddball Black Moon, which can be broken down and oversimplified thusly: future dystopian/post-apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland.  The film evokes a certain level of discomfort.  It’s hard to get comfortable in a world that teeters between the innocent and the perverse.  In one moment, our teenage protagonist Lily (Cathryn Harrison) is having a conversation with a unicorn in a garden, in the next, she’s watching what appears to be a battle of the sexes in which the genders (in gas masks) slaughter each other mercilessly, in another, she’s watching one half on a pair of incestuous siblings feed an elderly woman from her breast.   It’s surrealist, disconcerting, and never attempts to explain itself with superfluous dialogue or exposition of any sort.  Malle called it his “mythological fairy tale taking place in the near future,”  and luckily for you: if you’re interested in a strange little journey, the Criterion Collection recently made this available in DVD and Blu-Ray.    

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