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THE PASSION OF THE DARKLY NOON Blu-ray Review



The Passion of Darkly Noon
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Ashley Judd, and Viggo Mortensen
Director: Philip Ridley
Street Date 3/24/2020

The Film

Darkly Noon (Brendan Fraser) is the sole survivor of a military-style attack on an isolated religious community. Stumbling through a forest in a daze, he is rescued by the free-spirited and enigmatic Callie (Ashley Judd). Darkly finds himself feeling strange new desires for Callie as she nurses him back to health... only to watch her jump into the arms of her returning mute lover Clay (Viggo Mortensen). Lost in the woods with only his fundamentalist upbringing to make sense of his unrequited passions, Darkly soon descends into an explosive and lethal rage.

Part examination of religious fundamentalism, part commentary on male sexual entitlement, part violent soap opera, Ridley's 25 year old feature was out of step with our culture in its initial release. That being said, we (may) have started to catch up with the film. 

Technical Bits

Now available for the first time in HD, Ridley's talent for spellbinding, hallucinogenic dream imagery is on full display in a glittering new transfer of his most formally inventive and electrifying film.

The mesmerising soundtrack includes two songs co-written by Ridley for the film, "Look What You've Done (To My Skin)" performed by Gavin Friday and "Who Will Love Me Now?" performed by PJ Harvey.


Bonus Materials

  • New 2K restoration by Arrow Films from the original camera negative, approved by Philip Ridley
  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Original 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by writer/director Philip Ridley
  • Isolated score track in lossless stereo, including never-before-heard extended and unused cues, and the two songs from the film
  • Sharp Cuts, a newly filmed interview with editor Leslie Healey
  • Forest Songs, a newly filmed interview with composer Nick BicΓ’t
  • Dreaming Darkly, an archive featurette from 2015 featuring interviews with Ridley, BicΓ’t and star Viggo Mortensen
  • Previously unreleased demos of the music score, written and performed by BicΓ’t before filming started
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring a new Philip Ridley career retrospective written by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Should I Buy It?

Maybe. This film isn't for everyone. In the same way some people will dismiss the films of David Lynch as pretentious dribble and others will elevate them to art that is beyond comprehension, viewers are truly split with Darkly. It's campy and fun but executed with a visual flare that's undeniable. The film feels like it is at odds with itself and that can be uncomfortable for some viewers.  But for others that ill at ease feeling is the reason it works. Its imbalance is the thing that makes it so damn compelling. If you like the film its a must own. Arrow has done a remarkable job with the transfer and bonus features. 

Darkly has developed a strong cult following over the last 25 years and Arrow's release will satisfy both its casual and die hard fans. Every detail of this presentation is top notch.  You can pre-order from MVD here.

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