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Beyond the Black Rainbow [Blu-ray]

3.1 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Held captive in a specialized medical facility, a young woman with unique abilities seeks a chance to escape her obsessed captor.
Set in the strange and oppressive emotional landscape of the year 1983, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a Reagan-era fever dream inspired by hazy childhood memories of midnight movies and Saturday morning cartoons. From the producer of Machotaildrop, Rainbow is the outlandish feature film debut of writer and director Panos Cosmatos. Featuring a hypnotic analog synthesizer score by Jeremy Schmidt of Sinoia Caves and Black Mountain, Rainbow is a film experience for the senses.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Rogers, Scott Hylands
  • Directors: Panos Cosmatos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B9JTDQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Donovan TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 19, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Nine Things About the Movie “Beyond the Black Rainbow” [Canada, 2010]

1. There are four kinds of drug movies:

a) movies about how terrible drugs are - most movies are of this type.

b) movies that show drugs are funny and harmless - these are the weed movies like “Friday” and “Pineapple Express”.

c) movies that can only really be appreciated if you are on drugs - movies like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “Brazil”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, or “Apocalypse Now”..

d) then there is the most rare movie of all - the movie that is itself a drug. These are movies that try to cause you to feel the same way that a psychedelic experience will.

2. This movie is in the last category. There is no way to describe this movie in regular language. Combining Kubrick, Cronenberg, Lynch, Burroughs, and Lovecraft, this isn't even really a movie by traditional standards, but an experiment in using cinema to alter consciousness.

3. The director himself called this a “trance film”, and downplayed the actual story for an atmospheric and dream-like experience.

4. It's set in 1983, but the soul of the film is locked in an acid-induced fever dream from 1965. The plot, if it matters, is about a telepathic girl held against her will in a bizarre hospital, while her doctor does strange things with drugs and a glowing crystal in an attempt to find ultimate reality. Or something like that.

5. The movie shows the dark side of the hippy movement. While trying to bring peace and light to the world, the movie argues that hippies did just the opposite, causing people to go too far in their quest for inner peace - whether it was from drugs or occult games. The Balance was upset.

6.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Just because most of the films you watch have easily discernible plots does not mean that films presented otherwise are poorly made. Think of Beyond the Black Rainbow as poetry, not as a novel. If you need a clear explanation stay away from this film. You'll hate it. If you can enjoy the bizarre, wild mood, and viscerally gorgeous photographic visuals then stick around. If you enjoy films where everything is not spelled out for you then this too might be a sign that Beyond the Black Rainbow is for you. Think of it as the privilege of entering someone else's dream.

In the vein of Land of the Lost, Space 1999, Liquid Sky, Altered States, Coma, Looker, THX1138, Scanners, 2001, and filmmakers like Kubrick, David Cronenberg, Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger and dozens of other films and filmmakers I know and don't know from the 70s and 80s comes Beyond the Black Rainbow. It is a fever dream of a film that is more experience than linear narrative. Imagine a B film from the 1980s was lost and never seen. Beyond the Black Rainbow is supposed to be that lost film. It's here as if from a time machine. The film is a homage to low budget gems from the past; something only seen in some off the beaten path theater away from civilization.

Now despite all reports to the contrary there is some semblance of a narrative here. Remember though that what follows is my interpretation of what I saw. The film is open ended enough to serve yours too. The film is carefully and skillfully constructed so I assume if he wanted things explained more, he would have simply done that. Like the famous Kubrick/Lovecraft quote: "In all things mysterious - never explain.
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Format: Amazon Video
A young woman is trapped in a room in a lab, being observed and experimented on. A sinister doctor talks to her through the glass every day but she never responds or even looks at him. The neon-coated visuals, synth soundtrack and antique computer monitor displays are all meant to give the impression that this is a movie made in the early 1980's, a fact further reinforced by a scene in which Ronald Reagan makes an appearance on a television screen. Beyond the Black Rainbow looks and sounds great--one just wishes that it was more than an empty-headed exercise in style. In terms of story virtually nothing happens. You never find out much of anything about either of the main characters and there's no suspense or twists or action or anything--just those pretty visuals and a soundtrack that John Carpenter probably would have been pleased with. This is worth a look but it could have been a whole lot better..
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In this wonderfully baffling debut film from director Panos Cosmatos, a young woman with telekinetic powers is held captive by a mad doctor in a Kubrickian new age institute. The time is 1983. Through a series of psychedelic flashbacks, we witness the circumstances which led to the doctor's mental and emotional breakdown, as well as the young lady's captivity. To reveal anything more than that would be impossible.

Panos Cosmatos is a filmmaker who is willing to risk alienating most audiences in favor of placing his vision on the screen, precisely in the way that he wants to. Most of the film was financed by Cosmatos himself, and was shot in Vancouver on an old 35mm Panavision from the eighties. The lighting, mood, score and deliberate pacing are all reminiscent of earlier films from the seventies and eighties. The beautiful synth-score from Sinoia Caves sounds like a dreamy homage to John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream, but somehow exists within its own unique universe. This score, along with the various soundscapes in the film, allow for an all-encompassing aural experience that pulls you further into the dark world that Cosmatos has meticulously created.

It is a frustrating experience that will leave you scratching your head, and with a burning desire to see it again and again. In the tradition of Lynch, Kubrick, and Cronenberg, this is a film with many questions and few answers. The latter is left almost entirely up to you, the viewer. This is a film that will gain a cult following and will be talked about for years to come, much like 'Donnie Darko' before it. The film has a grind-house, retro feel that fits perfectly. This is one of the best films that I have seen in quite some time, and is highly recommended to adventurous viewers.

Directed by Panos Cosmatos, released by Magnet Pictures. 110 minutes. Rated R.
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