Michael Rogers

What can I say about Beyond the Black Rainbow that hasn’t already been said about licking toads while watching a 70s slasher flick behind your neighborhood scientific research compound? Writer/director Panos Cosmatos‘s deranged trip down the rabbit hole feels like Cronenberg and Argento furiously impregnated a robot named TARKOVSKY. It’s homage at its highest form – work born directly from the visual and storytelling tropes of iconic artists that manages to feel brand new with the presence of a fresh personality. In the 80s-set film, and stop me if you’ve heard this one, Elena (Eva Allan) is held captive in a research facility by Barry Nyle (Michael Rogers), the demented product of a cult-like program born two decades earlier that sought to merge science and religion. As he slowly deteriorates mentally, blood starts spilling, but even if Elena gets a chance to escape, she’ll have him murderously on her trail.

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Panos Cosmatos‘s first film Beyond the Black Rainbow, which premiered at last week’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York, is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Or, it’s reminiscent of many things you have seen. Like a faded memory, an amalgamation of every sci-fi/horror between 1970 – 1985, Black Rainbow is an exercise in aesthetic and genre. Set in a futuristic 1983, the film stars Michael Rogers as the leader of a secret laboratory, running tests on a telepathic child in an effort to – wait. No. Watching the events unfold in Black Rainbow is half the fun, the other half being entirely unsettled by the creepy visual style and piercing audio track. It’s engrossing. I sat down with Cosmatos to talk about bringing Beyond the Black Rainbow, the inspiration for moody throwback and creating a world that’s both familiar and completely unique.

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