Released theatrically abroad and direct-to-video here in the States, Abel Ferrara’s The Blackout shares some of Dangerous Game’s ideas about art, commerce, and the tangled relationship between filmmaking and real life but never manages to control its turgid chaos. A movie star with a cocaine vacuum for a nose (Matthew Modine’s Matty) is traumatized by the discovery that girlfriend Annie (Béatrice Dalle) has aborted their child, having forgotten (due to drug excesses) that he’d previously ordered her – in the most callous way imaginable – to get rid of the unborn fetus. After visiting an experimental video filmmaker (Dennis Hopper) who’s in the midst of remaking Emile Zola’s Nana as a lesbian smut show, Matty has the titular memory lapse and, a sober year later, tries to relocate the missing Annie whose disappearance has left him a psychological wreck (despite the fact that he’s now shacked up with Claudia Schiffer). Character doubling, disorienting transitions, Modine’s overcooked histrionics, and issues of guilt, sin and salvation all characterize the haphazard film, which progresses with such bumpy, awkward momentum that it feels as if Ferrara didn’t decide upon a narrative structure until he reached the editing room. “I don’t even know the difference between life and acting anymore,” explains Matty for those scant few incapable of picking up on The Blackout’s evident themes, but it’s Ferrara who, with this muddled misfire, proves incapable of making distinctions between his inspired and indulgent impulses.