February 18, 2024

LUNAMANCER: Small Film, Big Ideas

2021 / 71 min
Available at www.MovieZyng.com
Review by Pepper the Poopy😺

Dr. Isaac Blake (Jake Pirkkanen) returns to his hometown in search of his twin sister, Sue (Nikki Clyne), a tarot card reader who’s gone missing, though no one else appears to be aware of it. The viewer gets the impression Isaac already knows her fate, since they appear to have some sort of supernatural connection to each other (established in the prologue).

In the meantime, Lunamancer keeps the viewer consistently in the dark, often perplexed by what the hell they’re watching. The film is loaded with surreal sequences and imagery which blur the line between reality and illusion, seemingly perpetuated by a local garage mechanic (Cliff Tullis) who Isaac first questions when he arrives in town. Throughout much of the narrative, we’re not entirely certain what’s driving Isaac or if what he’s experiencing is real.

Isaac doesn't feel like making his bed this morning.
While watching this, I was often reminded of Darren Aronofsky’s debut, Pi, a similarly low budget sci-fi film driven more by cerebralism than a clear narrative or visual aesthetics. And like Aronofsky, Lunamancer’s bleak setting, evocative score and subdued performances contribute greatly to the somber (and quietly menacing) overall tone. It’s one of those films where it’s only after the denouement is revealed that (most) of the narrative pieces click in place.

Until then, Lunamancer is intriguingly ambiguous. While the deliberate pace does threaten to test one’s patience at times, it’s a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience that, at 71 minutes, doesn’t wear out its welcome. Co-written by first-time feature director Noah Mucci and producer Matt Patterson, the film is worth seeking out by adventurous viewers.

No comments: