The Blackout (1997)

R   |    |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller


The Blackout (1997) Poster

A debauched Hollywood movie actor tries to piece together one wild night in Miami years earlier which remains a drug-induced blur, and soon finds out that some questions about his past are best left unanswered.

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5.4/10
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  • The Blackout (1997)
  • Matthew Modine and Claudia Schiffer in The Blackout (1997)
  • The Blackout (1997)
  • The Blackout (1997)
  • The Blackout (1997)

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Awards

4 wins.

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8 July 2000 | stephen niz
Another walk on the dark side with Abel Ferrara
Neurosis and character antipathy do not make for commercial success. THE BLACKOUT bypassed cinemas in the US, and here in Australia. The multiplex monster has no room for mavericks like Ferrara.

As there are no others quite like the rebellious Ferrara, he takes liberties from his own catalogue. This time, there are shades of SNAKE EYES (1993), and it pre-empts NEW ROSE HOTEL (1998). In form though, it owes much more to Hitchcock, and VERTIGO.

Like VERTIGO, THE BLACKOUT masquerades as a thriller, but is more concerned with the nature of identity. Relocating to Miami, the film is aesthetically great, though Modine looks (justifiably) clueless. The axis of the film is the concept rather than plot and the clash of high-art pretension with low-brow sleaze is conscious.

Some ideas don't come off, and the form of THE BLACKOUT is awkward. But if it is too cold and removed for most filmgoers tastes, it is still a showcase for an uncompromising, daring director, willing to upset accepted conventions.

The biggest disappointment is that his invention is left in this case to an unheralded release, and will go largely unnoticed.

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