Review: ‘Dark Arc’

Given an ad line like "For arrogant bastards only," there may be some reason to hope writer-director-star Dan Zukovic had tongue at least partly in cheek when devising the pretentious howler "Dark Arc." Still, this Canadian indulgence in high-grade Eurotrash enigmatics merits a spankin' no matter what the original intent. Commercial prospects are minus-zero.

Given an ad line like “For arrogant bastards only,” there may be some reason to hope writer-director-star Dan Zukovic had tongue at least partly in cheek when devising the pretentious howler “Dark Arc.” Still, this Canadian indulgence in high-grade Eurotrash enigmatics — with arch dialogue, intellectual name-dropping and fussy gallery-installation look — merits a spankin’ no matter what the original intent. Or perhaps a withheld spanking, given its quasi-erotic perversity suggests a “Red Shoes Diary” episode with Marguerite Duras delusions. Commercial prospects are minus-zero.

Answering an unusual personal ad, graphic designer Ed (Kurt Max Runte) allows himself to be “slurped into the psychosexual psychodrama” — that’s an actual dialogue fragment — executed by posturing femme fatale Juxta (Sarah Strange), and manipulated behind the scenes by her sneering pal the Viscount Laris (Zukovic). Experiment involves much blathering about the power of imagery by all three confessed “visual epicures.” Of course somebody gets killed eventually. But by then, pic has evolved past the unintentionally hilarious to the paralyzingly dull. To complete things, Zukovic also provides several soundtrack songs in the Nick Cave mode.

Dark Arc

Canada

Production

A Dark Arc Prods. production in association with Third Tribe. Produced by Brendan Keown, Jeremy Dyson, David Barnett, Mitch Mayer. Executive producer, Barnett. Directed, written by Dan Zukovic.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Geoff Denham; editors, Patrick Carroll, Steve Cammarano; music, Neil Burnett; production designer, John R. Taylor. Reviewed at Cinequest, San Jose, March 10, 2005. Running time: 99 MIN. With Sarah Strange, Dan Zukovic, Kurt Max Runte.

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