“If you find a way to dance with people -Â to dance with life – nothing wrong will happen to you… I hope.” Painter, author,Â and filmmaker Hugues de Montalembert muses as much in the narration of Gary Tarn’s first feature film, Black Sun. Montalembert, as weÂ find out early in the film, has every right to be hopeful, and every right to add the hesitant “I hope” to theÂ end of his declaration, as well: heÂ was assaulted and blinded in his New York apartment by two burglars inÂ the spring of 1978. But rather than shutting down his creative flow, Montalembert worked to dominate his blindness and travel the world independently, documenting his experiences along the way. In Black Sun, Gary Tarn has captured 70 minutes of Montalembert discussing his life and his experiences and overlaid the narrative with stunning visuals that dance around the narration, alternately tying in with the commentary and simply providing a colorful backdrop.
As we’ve seen with increasing frequency over the past decade, the documentary film can not only be used to tell a story but can be downright moving. Tarn’s relatively short documentary hits all the right notes and more with Montalembert’s patiently hypnotic voice offering unpretentiously sagacious advice from an oft-forgotten viewpoint. TheÂ film begins toÂ center around the idea that Montalembert’s mind constructs a world of sight and colorful experiences around him despite his blindness.Â He discussesÂ feeling as if he can see people when they are speaking to him and how he can remember the visuals that went along with a conversation or an event.
Mixing right in with the narrative and the visuals is Tarn’s perfect musical composition. The term “independent film” gets tossed around a lot but Black Sun is the real deal: a stunningly relevant visual and narrative masterpiece made on a shoestring budget. Don’t miss it.
Zach’s Rating: 10 (out of 10)
To purchase Black Sun, visit Amazon