Black Sun

on April 13, 2007 by Kevin Courrier
In 1978, French painter and filmmaker Hugues de Montalembert returned to his New York apartment to encounter two robbers who viciously assaulted him, ultimately throwing paint thinner in his face before escaping. By morning, he was in a Soho hospital and blind. "Black Sun" is a fascinating impressionistic study of an artist coming to terms with his lost sight by finding new ways of seeing.

Director Gary Tarn provides a new way of seeing for us, as well. He allows de Montalembert to tell his story, as a narration track, while we are slowly and persuasively drawn into his perspective. We watch visually fluid but distorted images of New York and its people, plus the many other countries to which de Montalembert traveled. Free of the pretentious and moralistic rants of Godfrey Reggio's comparable "Koyaanisqatsi," "Black Sun" becomes instead a remarkable personal essay about personal transcendence. Narrated by Hugues de Montalembert. Directed by Gary Tarn. Produced by John Battsek. No distributor set. Documentary. Not yet rated. Running time: 75 min.

Tags: Gary Tarn, documentary, painter, artist, Hugues de Montalembert, New York, assault, blind, biography

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