Magazine article Screen International

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Magazine article Screen International

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Panos Cosmatos. Canada. 2011. 110mins

Haunting visuals only partially make up for the narrative shortcomings of Beyond The Black Rainbow, a trippy, retro sci-fi thriller that marks the feature debut of Canada-based writer-director Panos Cosmatos.

A sixties flashback sequence, during which the scientist has a mind-altering drug experience, is the film's highlight.

After screening at the Tribeca festival, the film, which also appeared at Fantastic Fest and is in the line-up of this month's AFI Fest, was picked up for the US by Magnolia's Magnet Releasing label. The theatrical audience probably won't extend beyond a small hard core of genre fans but the exposure might ultimately lead to more mainstream projects for Cosmatos (son of Greek Hollywood director George Cosmatos) down the line.Set against a backdrop of the Reagan-era Cold War, the story, such as it is, has a creepy scientist (played by Canadian veteran Michael Rogers, from The Assassination of Jesse James) holding a young girl with dangerous mental powers (Eva Allan, from sci-fi series Caprica) captive in a isolated laboratory.Paying homage - perhaps a bit too diligently - to Stanley Kubrick, early George Lucas, Andrei Tarkovsky and others, Cosmatos shoots the uneventful first half of the film almost exclusively in tight close-ups of the handful of characters and slow tracking shots of the lab's red-lit interior. …

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