Sunday, March 05, 2017

Honourable Mention: Blood on Méliès' Moon

Blood on Méliès' Moon is an auteur piece by director Luigi Cozzi and released in 2016. Cozzi not only directed by also stars, as himself, and it is his first film in 27 years (not counting the documentaries he directed about Dario Argento in the 90s). From a genre point of view we should note that he was one of the numerous directors attached to Vampire in Venice.

I had seen a trailer of the film and, through that, assumed a vampire aspect (indeed a Dracula aspect) that wasn’t there. However the filmmakers were good enough to let me have access to a streaming version. Unfortunately the stream was quite a low res affair and so it didn’t look as good as the hd trailer (I’ve taken screenshots from that) but it was good enough to be able to watch and follow the film.

And quite an existential experience it is with a premise that, through the occult writings of Aureo Silvestre, film could be said to be a window to other dimensions. It uses historical fact about the history of cinema – such as the disappearance of Louis Le Prince, in 1890, when he journeyed with his inventions (a device to capture moving images and a projector), which robbed him of being widly known as the inventor of cinema. It is a film concerned with parallel earths and a gateway to a dark dimension being left open by a scarred magician that threatens the world.

 Luigi Cozzi as himself
Drawn into this is Cozzi who attempts to track down the meaning of a mysterious book – the vagabond universe – and find a lost film by Georges Méliès (David Kirk Traylor) that captured the ritual used by the magician. Meanwhile the Magician has become an assassin, killing those involved in the mystery. At one point Cozzi ends up travelling into the universe of Georges Méliès. The film features cameo moments by Argento and Lamberto Bava and features as a prime location the store Profondo Rosso, which in real life was founded by Argento and is managed by Cozzi.

off to see a vampirologist
So, vampire connection? At one point Cozzi is told “for this I present you… Count Dracula!” However the Count does not appear in film but it is a queue to visit self-styled French vampirologist Jacques Sirgent. He directs them further into their quest. Only the vaguest of connections, I’d say not enough to even flicker on vampire filmographies really – a mention in passing. As for the film it is, most definitely, an auteur piece of cinema and of definite interest to fans of the Italian Horror scene. The budget tells occasionally but one cannot deny Cozzi’s enthusiasm and the concepts are intriguing. Perhaps a tad specialist for the casual viewer, however. The imdb page is here.

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