Apart from the generous helpings and floppings of male and female anatomy, the most fascinating element of Luna Park stems from the morphed version of the Adagio sostenuto from Beethoven’s iconic Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, “Moonlight.”
As frequent readers to these pages will know—as a rule—JWR disdains the blatant pilfering and frequent mutilation of the world’s masterworks—precious few of which would happen if they weren’t in the royalty-free realm of public domain.
But most of that is forgiven upon meeting Christi (Taylor Caldwell) who is at the centre of Steven Vasquez’s tale of “bad family history.” Due to physical impairments, the slight drink of a man must resort to all-manner of notebooks in order to “say” his piece.
Those familiar with Beethoven’s life know full well that his encroaching, then debilitating deafness forced the master to share many of his thoughts or questions by writing them down rather than speaking aloud. But, to be sure, Christi’s talent is not taking “no” for an answer when the 18-year-old voyeur (the poolside cams surrounding the tony California shared backyard capture more sizzling bare flesh than unwanted visitors…) lures his current minder, Max (Michael Brent handles his largely narrator role with skill; not so much when saddled with awkward scenes such as being caught with purloined personal property) into his bed. This union seems doomed from the first, turgid embrace: Max’s movie star employer, Alexia Besset (Laura Reilly) is also Christi’s mothering sister. Fucking the boss’s bro instead of keeping the troubled youth out of trouble doesn’t bode well for Max's continuing employment.
So Christi pouts while Max stumbles upon another sort of notebook whose contents turn everyone’s life upside down. Like those who later have huge regrets after sharing personal images, encounters or opinions on social media sites, those bygone diaries—if allowed to fall into the wrong hands—can reveal far more than their authors ever intended.
No spoilers here, but it gives nothing away to report that most of the film is a “family noir” revelation of incest and rape most foul. If that’s your cup of tea, do search it out (overall much tamer than Gut—cross-reference below—if not as carefully crafted).
One has to wonder if the artistic trust was also aware of Beethoven’s extra-close relationship with his nephew which—after his music—became an obsession of the perennial bachelor’s life (cross-reference below).
If only the willowy Christi had been named Karl and provided with a suicide attempt of his own… JWR