There were only 11 films from 2011 to make my illustrious 'best of' list earlier this year and one of my favorites, Panos Cosmatos' Beyond the Black Rainbow, has finally received a blu ray release as of today. Before home video, digital recording devices and illegal file sharing provided us the liberty of watching pop culture when we want as our founding fathers had promised (control of property being the basis for liberty), a drug-addled consciousness, in the early morning hours, would be retuned to reality through a forced choice of bad cable movies or informercials -- the remote control providing only the remotest semblance of control. The mind was in a particularly susceptible state during such inert periods and, having so little control on media saturation (like having to listen to an entire side of an LP all the way through), it became shaped, one might say enamored, by televisual junk. Set in the time of Orwellian dystopia, Cosmatos' film captures this shaping of the android mind as telepathic domination. The editing feels like pushing the button on the remote at random, which eventually coalesces into something of a cross-channel narrative thread between a self-help guru with a narcoleptic delivery and the final girl sequence in a slasher film. The 80s sci-fi hues turning into hypnotic visual patterns accompanied by Wendy Carlos drones and John Carpenter melodies pull the viewer into the nostalgic abyss. The laissez-faire decade was when most Americans were rebuilt by aliens; only a few escaped.
Amoeba's patented What's in My Bag? with the writer-director of Beyond the Black Rainbow