Black Dahlia Movie
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The last “Black Dahlia” flick I reviewed was the Ulli Lommel trainwreck. To say it left a bad taste in my mouth in an understatement. It’s so bad that my ass puckers just talking about it.
The similarities between the two films ends at the title. The Ramzi Abed “Black Dahlia Movie” that we’re here to talk about today is the far superior version – and is almost a moving work of art.
There is a plot shifting and twisting around, and if you’re very careful you might be able to follow it…but I couldn’t. That’s okay though, the intertwining of reality and illusion (and maybe a second reality?) is fascinating enough that at times I forgot there was a murder mystery going on.
The story is (kind of) about Lisa Small (played by Kristen Kerr – who is amazing…I may just start my own unhealthy obsession), who bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Short, the dead actress and title character. When movies about Black Dahlia are being cast, that’s a good thing. When brunette starlets are being tortured and murdered, that’s a bad thing. She’s cast as Black Dahlia – or she thinks she is at least. Lizzy Strain (Lizzy Strain) also has the role, but is Lisa delusional, or is the movie inside a movie about a woman who thinks she’s cast as Black Dahlia? Confused? Damn straight. The whole film is like a slow moving train through bizarre landscapes. Just when things start to make sense, the vista changes and we have to figure out what’s going on all over again.
The ride however is beautiful. The movie seemed to be less about a straight plotline and more about creating interesting imagery. Color palettes shift and change with the mood, scenes come in and out of focus, and outright bizarre areas are created. I’d say it almost had a dream-like effect, but it’s been several decades since I’ve done any acid, so my dreams aren’t this strange.
Oh, and the soundtrack kicked ass. It was almost its own character. Sort of the way the music took on a life of its own in “Blue Velvet” and “Clockwork Orange” (odd…all 3 movies have colors in the titles…)
While I thoroughly enjoyed the flick – it’s not for everyone. The ‘artsy’ feel to it may turn off casual viewers, but I urge you to persevere. Kristen Kerr (pant, pant) was great, Sarah Scott as Grace had a terrific performance, and Bums fave Trent Haaga was an uber-creepy Red.
You really need to be in a certain mood to enjoy a film that ignores standard conventions and entertains on other levels, but when you find yourself in that kind of mindset – throw this in the DVD player. Don’t feel bad if you get confused though, just sit back and enjoy the tour. 4 cans out of 5.
Added: Thursday, March 29, 2007
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