Director: Brennan Vance.
Starring. Gera Pobuda, Sally Wingert, Peter McLarnan, Lawrence Sutin. USA. 1h 19m.
The journey is sometimes more interesting than the destination, and in this curious black and white drama, the journey is both beautiful and at times deeply bizarre. Looking back on the movie a dark and scary experience is definitely portrayed as something pure and wonderful, much like how Death can be seen as a goodbye or indeed as a celebration of life.
Alma wakes up one fateful morning to find her husband comatosed in the sunroom, a beer bottle and glass by his bed, but he’s not responding to her calls, all the electrical items have shorted, and she assumes they have been hit by another solar flare.
Wrapping up she heads out to get help but is confronted by a ghost town, on returning to her quiet and lonely home, to find her husband is still asleep. She’s convinced he’s having an out of body affair with a woman named Joy and after reflecting on how he helped her beat her addictive past she decides that’s there’s one thing she can do for him, that’s to save him from this astral affair and move on.
Alma is a wonderful character, and Gera Pobuda take this role very much in her stride, the bonus with black and white is that it seems to have this magical ability to pick up on features that can’t be hidden by makeup, she a young and heart old lady who’s presence reminds me of the grandmother in Belleville Rendezvous (2003), she takes on life’s battles in her tiny logical and tough love stride. The sad thing is that she seems to pass the world by unnoticed, just Alma, her memories and thoughts, trying to find answers to to the conundrum.
Gradually Alma is drawn to a unique cult, who meet regularly in her town, their bold and charismatic leader talks about light and astral travel, something the group specializes in. While Alma is drawn to a crystal cluster she finds while attempting to persuade her step son to give up his drug addiction and help her, she’s also drawn to the group to help get her into the Astral plan in order to save her husband. She learns a lot from picking up leaflets about memories being stored in quartz.
Bit by bit the determined woman pushes the boundaries on this new world that she’s awoken in until her final eureka moment and with a little chuckle as the film ends.
R – Memories of a Penitent Heart (2016), The Best of All Worlds (2017), Bokeh (2016)
L – Modern Black and White Movies, Life and Death Films,