Film Scouts Reviews

"The Blackout"

by Lisa Nesselson

Abel Ferrara puts his characters through a reasonable facsimile of the Spanish Inquisition in "The Blackout."

If the practice of programming films at midnight relies on the concept that the audience will be unable to tell whether or not the film is any good, "The Blackout" is a perfect midnight movie. Films about the ravages of substance abuse almost always present their characters as most interesting when loaded, and tedious beyond compare once sober. Matthew Modine plays the central loadee and it's pretty difficult to care about his compound problems.

He plays a movie star haunted by the nagging sensation that he's done something rotten. His first girlfriend is played by Beatrice Dalle. His second, post-drug-and-alcohol-addled lifestyle girlfriend is played by Claudia Schiffer. Much scenery is chewed and many a half-hearted expletive is uttered by Dennis Hopper, who is directing a contemporary remake of "Nana" on video. If these plot components sound a tad random, they are.

As in all of Ferrara's work, doomed souls seek redemption. The resolution in "The Blackout" is either profound and moving or laughably rank. If this review isn't terribly helpful, neither is the film.

Back to 1997 Cannes Film Festival Reviews

Back to 1997 Toronto Film Festival Reviews

Back to The Blackout

Back to the Press Room

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.