Review: Black Moon

Today I watched Louis Malle’s Black Moon. I have not a sausage what it was all about, so I’m going to have an overnight mull and then ETA it tomorrow.


Right, so it’s all a bit arty. It starts off by obliquely establishing there’s some kind of gender war going on – a proper war, with guns and shit. A young woman/girl by the name of Lily (Cathryn Harrison, who was fifteen or sixteen at the time of shooting) drives along a country road dressed in ‘male clothing’ until stopped by a gurt big tank-type affair and a gaggle of armed men, who proceed to shoot the shit out of a bunch of surrendered women, firing squad-style. Then one of the men twigs she’s one Y-chromosome short of the right side, at which Lily floors it offroad to escape the ensuing fusillade.

So there’s the set-up; a nicely put together little post-apocalypse world we have on our hands, no expositional dialogue, just a very suggestive scene.

Except from here it all goes well wang. In fact, the very opening scene isn’t exactly Bruckheimer-Simpson either (though the subsequent tank/execution bit sort of rinses your brain of the idea it’s that anything other than a relatively orthodox near future dystopic SF jaunt); Lily runs over a badger. That’s the first of many animal-related moments in the film, none of which really make much sense to me, although it seems clear that they are meant to Be Very Significant.

Right, so Lily’s crashed the roadblock, drives her shot-up banger through the countryside, and happens upon a noisy flock of sheep. As Lily slowly realises it, so too do we: the (male) shepherd is hanging by his neck from a tree. Lily drives on until her path is blocked. She tries to clear a path. There is a snake in the undergrowth. She hears noises, and walks to a nearby hedge, through which she sees a group of armed women beating a (male?) captive. She is seen, so runs through the woods into a verdant forested valley. Next we see some stuff with her lying on the ground watching a millipede crawl over rocks, and then a praying mantis, and finally a pair of cockroaches, which appear to be playing kiss chase. Lily moves her arm, brushing a flower, and we hear as she does a wailing, childlike cry. It appears to be the flower. Now this is officially getting a bit Fucking Odd. Lily senses something behind her, turns round, and sees a unicorn. A short, tubby, dirty brown unicorn. Kind of like an alkie Shetland pony who got pissed in Blackpool and ended up with a Cornetto stuck to its noggin. Oh, and now there’s a bug on Lily’s cheek. WTF is it with the insects and shit? Breaking the spell of the unicorn, a woman on horseback rides in, circles Lily then fucks off again. Lily chases on foot, following the trail until she runs into a gang of naked children gamboling around with a fat sow on a leash. To repeat, WTF?! Oh, but it’s okay, Lily’s just spotted the farmhouse we eagle-eyed viewers saw in the background as she hotfooted it behind the equestrienne. At last – we’re fifteen minutes in, no audible dialogue (except songs on the car radio), and we’ve only just arrived at the location for the rest of the film.

To recap so far: battle of the sexes, animals, not big on dialogue. Oh, and the hint of sexualised childhood. Sheesh, this is knackering – I’m off to make a cuppa.


One response to “Review: Black Moon

  1. Pingback: Life and all that jazz « Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS

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