Playing to Tribeca Film Festival audiences this year, Panos Cosmatos’ Beyond the Black Rainbow is a surreal journey that – on a visual level – recalls the works of Stanley Kubrick or Ken Russell’s Altered States and injects it with a bold, synth-fueled akin to Tangerine Dream. And it’s not “check your brain at the door” genre fodder, by any means.
Cosmatos weaves a deliberately paced period tale (it’s set in 1983) – starring Michael Rogers and Eva Allan – that plays on telekinesis, science and spirituality while focusing on a young, imprisoned girl named Elena (Allan) who is being studied by Dr. Barry Nyle (Rogers) in a “futuristic” facility. Genre-savvy fans will notice Cosmatos’ various influences, but that won’t deter them from being absorbed into Beyond the Black Rainbow’s hypnotic glow. It’s a film that challenges the viewer, however, Cosmatos delivers a handful of sinister rewards.