24 March 2013 | Falconeer
Bizarre, surreal love story
This obscure film from Yugoslavia would probably be even more obscure if it didn't star the then-unknown actor Brad Pitt. And undeservedly neglected, as "Dark side of the Sun" is quite a beautiful, and utterly surreal piece of filmmaking. The young Rick suffers from a rare skin disease; if he is exposed to sunlight, or any bright light, his skin will quickly deteriorate and he will die in just a matter of days or weeks. because of this, Rick must wear a bizarre, S&M style leather body suit, and matching black leather mask, all the time! Nobody can see his face, and he rides a motorcycle, so as not to appear too strange in his leather suit. A chance encounter with a beautiful American girl, (Rick is also American, but lives in Yugoslavia) forces Rick to re-evaluate his own existence. He decides that a week living life as a normal kid is worth a lifetime of living separated from the World.
This film has a lot going for it, such as the beautiful Yugoslavian scenery and glimpse into their culture. Filmed just before war broke out in this land, the film provides an opportunity to see how wonderful and peaceful Yugoslavia was before the late 1980's. The story is unabashedly romantic, and tragic, and possesses a rare innocent quality to it. The director wisely decides to score the film with beautiful classical music, which adds much intensity to the already emotional tale. Filmed mostly in a gorgeous mansion by the sea, "Dark side of the Sun" has a distinctly "foreign film" style to it, which i wasn't expecting. American films from this period usually have a very dated look to them, but this movie has aged well. I believe director Bozidar Nikolic cast a physically beautiful actor in the main role intentionally, making the fact that he must live wearing a mask that much more tragic and sad. "Dark side of the Sun" possesses a surreal quality. It plays out much like a Greek tragedy, or some bizarre fairy tale, and it's conclusion is not exactly a happy one, but considering it's a story of a young person living out their dream, you don't feel depressed at the films end. Although it is difficult to see Rick's physical beauty destroyed. Not surprisingly this movie did not score too high here; it is strange and not for all tastes. Recommended though, for fans of foreign film, or just bizarre and unique cinema.