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By Rachel Morgan | February 10, 2005

It’s hard to summarize exactly what the hell is happening in “Black Light”, a 20-minute, grainy, experimental narrative. The storyline is more than a little unclear, but generally there seems to be a good bit of stalking going on, some drug use and something about Satan. There is a main character (his name is unclear) who drives around, purchases drugs from a stranger on a street corner, seemingly hallucinates, stalks a bothered ex-girlfriend, sleeps in his car and is followed by what appears to be a group of angry Armani Exchange employees. Images of a contrived local news interview with David Wilson, the author of a fictional book called “Bloodlines”(the subject is Satanism), are also sporadically intercut throughout the film, as well as shots of a figure in a hooded robe Halloween costume from Party City. There isn’t, however, a comprehensible connection between any of the presented events and/or images. In addition, the incidents themselves are extremely vague.

The short film is heavy on lengthy transitions, but sparse on dialogue. The deleted scenes contained on the DVD provide a bit more information in terms of the narrative; it seems that, for some unspecified reason, the author being interviewed was hired by an indeterminate organization to perpetuate a world conspiracy about Satanism. More than informing the problematic narrative, the deleted scenes seem to point to the idea that the film wasn’t initially constructed to be quite as experimental as it is, nor does it seem that the short is experimental for the sake of being experimental (perhaps a worse diagnosis), but instead it appears to be sculpted from the recoverable remnants of a well intended, but failed effort. “Black Light’ is a decent attempt, but not a particularly enjoyable film. The short stands as an acceptable first undertaking and a laudable salvage job, but hopefully there are better things to come from Vick R. Diaz and crew.

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