Black Moon (1975)

Louis Malle’s Black Moon is one of those movies that I’ll be watching and Becca comes in and gets mad about.

“What the hell is that unicorn in this movie for?” she asked.

“It’s art” is always my answer. She doesn’t care that Malle made stuff like Pretty Baby, Atlantic City and My Dinner with André. No, she just sees someone breast feeding a goat.

Lily (Cathryn Harrison, ImagesEat the Rich) escapes a gender on gender civil war*, barely avoiding getting murdered by a firing squad, as well as encountering a flock of sheep standing around their lynched shepherd, militarized women torturing a boy and falling asleep on flowers that scream out in pain.

She then finds a château that is filled with animals and a strange woman who lies in bed, yelling at her pet rat Humphrey. She then begins making fun of Lily to someone on the other side of the shortwave radio before trying to strangle our heroine, who promptly slaps her so hard that she dies.

Then, she meets Lily (Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro) and Lily (Alexandra Stewart, The Uncanny), who breast feeds the old woman back to life. For some reason, they all share names and communicate telepathically. Then, a bunch of nude children run into the house and the unicorn tells her that the old woman is not real.

This is also a movie that goes on to feature male Lily beheading a hawk, a chorus of naked kids singing Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and a woman attempting to give a unicorn her mother’s milk.

Black Moon was shot in Malle’s own 200-year-old manor house and considered it a sexual awakening inspired by Alice In Wonderland. He called it his “mythological fairy tale taking place in the near future.” It failed at the box office and went unseen for many years.

*Malle referred to this battle as “the ultimate civil war…the war between men and women…the climax and great moment of women’s liberation.”

You can get this as part of the Criterion Collection.

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