Some films are born cult classics, while others have cult classic status thrust upon them. Toby Tobias’ 2016 film, Blood Orange was born a stone cold cult classic. This is the type of movie that cool friends will introduce to their lesser knowledgeable buddies in years to come.
Blood Orange is a compact piece, a small scale tense drama that sees Iggy Pop play Bill, an ageing (and near blind) rock star, married to a much younger wife, Isabelle (Kacey Clarke) who’s having an affair with their gardener (Antonio Magro). Everyone’s having a good time until Lucas (Ben Lamb) appears. He’s the son of Isabelle’s now dead, previous husband – and he wants his share of the inheritance. Tension rises, emotions get fraught and double-crosses abound.
It’s not a stretch for Iggy Pop to play a rock star, but he adds a grisly gravitas to his role as an over-the-hill musician tinkering away the days in Ibiza. He commands the screen like a creased and well worn (yet highly fashionable) leather jacket, his guttural voice adding an extra sense of world experience. This is a modern noir, and Kacey Clarke’s Isabelle is the Femme Fatale who plays the men against each other and we’re never quite sure which side she’s really on.
Tobias’ film moves at a leisurely pace, unfolding like a lazy afternoon beside the pool – where most of the action takes place. Mark Patten’s cinematography draws in the heat of the day and the coolness of the evening, while the jazz infused score adds an old fashioned classiness. This has a retro feel and a modern sensibility, a fusing of Billy Wilder, Robert Altman and Steven Soderbergh.
At first glance Blood Orange may appear to be superficial or even flimsy, but it does offer more than nice visuals and atmosphere. This is a quirky noir that holds the attention and makes its mark. Music video veteran Toby Tobias has made a small movie that will have longevity – so make sure you’re the cool friend who shows Blood Orange to your buddies.