Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 21, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 38
Cosmatos' Mandy overflowing in expressionistically bonkers bravado
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Cosmatos' Mandy overflowing in expressionistically bonkers bravado

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

MANDY
Now playing


The glorious, phantasmagoric insanity of writer/director Panos Cosmatos' and co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn's Mandy cannot be over-appreciated. This is controlled schizoid cinematic mania on a grand scale, all of it living inside a junky, suitably sparse 1980s-style low-budget exploitation thriller where shock and awe coexist with moody three-dimensional character development in something close to Heavy Metal harmony. This is an aggressive and violent movie, yet it is also one that unabashedly wears its heart on its Black Sabbath t-shirt sleeve, all of it propelled forward by an unhinged, brazenly uninhibited performance from star Nicolas Cage that's every bit as goofily manic as longtime fans of the actor ever could have hoped for.

As indescribable as much of it proves to be, the film is still an almost perfect follow-up to Cosmatos' equally mind-bending debut, the surrealistic 2010 science fiction conundrum Beyond the Black Rainbow. While more straightforward and plot-driven (to a certain degree) than that one was, Mandy still shares many DNA similarities with the director's psychologically unbalancing debut. The neon color schemes, the almost Salvador Dali-esque imagery, the way one scene can slam into another creating messy, visually resplendent panoramas of beauty and debauchery, often both at the exact same time - it's all part of what makes this thriller click as well as it does.

But where Beyond the Black Rainbow was a dreamscape of uncertain mystery that seemed born entirely out of the ether with few human elements grounding it in tactile reality, this story is fueled by white-hot character interactions overflowing in emotional complexities that are distinctly relatable. It's an intriguing evolution for Cosmatos, the director sticking with what can be construed as a signature filmmaking style yet now determined to ground it in an ethereal, metaphorically psychosomatic atmosphere reminiscent of the recent, even more esoteric offerings of vaunted director Terrence Malick (Song to Song, Knight of Cups, To the Wonder).

As mixtures go this is a daring one, and I can't say Mandy continually strikes a consistent balance among its varying elements. The first third is purposefully measured, Cosmatos taking his time building up these characters and documenting this grizzled, terrifically sparse 1983 world in which they reside. Some of this stuff can be purposefully trying, almost as if the film is daring the viewer to stick with it no matter what is currently happening. Then, as if he knows spectators are perched precariously upon their last viable nerve ending, Cosmatos allows things to explode in a multitude of mind-blowing, sometimes repugnant, continually spellbinding ways, light and dark battling for bloody supremacy in a no-holds-barred bout where the eventual victors are the members of the audience who watch this story play itself out to conclusion.

Then there is Cage. This is a next-level work by the veteran actor that recalls his epically hyperbolic performances in classics like Vampire's Kiss, Wild at Heart, Face/Off, and Adaptation. But he also mines similar emotional depths reminiscent of his Oscar-winning turn in Leaving Las Vegas, grounding all the gruesome balletic mayhem in a believably empathetic milieu that's heartbreaking in its tragic melodramatic excess. While Cage's work this past decade or so has noticeably left a lot to be desired, Cosmatos (much like Werner Herzog did with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and Brian Taylor did with Mom and Dad) challenges the actor to let himself go wild like he did in the '80s and '90s, and as such he delivers a performance that's an undeniable triumph.

The plot is a relatively simplistic throwback to the likes of Straw Dogs or The Last House on the Left, only with a backwoods attitude oozing in Iron Maiden-meets-Metallica aggression. Logger Red Miller (Cage) lives a happy life with his artist wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), the pair's seemingly idyllic existence shattered with the arrival of a demonic cult calling themselves the Black Skulls who are led by the telekinetic Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache). After an evening of supernaturally devilish violence, Miller refashions himself into a revenge-seeking road warrior, going after Sand and his followers with an unbalanced ferociousness that's inhuman. Chainsaw fights and other various forms of homicidal psychosis ensue.

Magnificently and expressionistically shot by Benjamin Loeb (King Cobra) and memorably scored within an inch of its harebrained life by the late, great Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival), much like his main character Cosmatos appears to be going for broke behind the camera every step of the way. He directs with a lunatic gusto that suits the material, and while not every second of the film works it's still impossible to imagine any single scene or sequence being cut out and the finished product working nearly as well as it ultimately does. Throw in Cage's borderline brilliance, and Mandy is a bonkers piece of sensationalistic bravado I couldn't help but adore, and here's my hope viewers lucky and daring enough to give it a look end up feeling the same.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

New Zealand-based former Seattleite and Trans non-binary performer brings two award-winning rare stories about diversity, belonging, and resilience to Seattle
------------------------------
An interview with Cirque du Soleil's Darius Harper and Joey Arrigo
------------------------------
Richard III - Fascistic (and oddly funny)
------------------------------
Take note and see The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
------------------------------
2018 Men in Dance Festival presented Sept. 28-30 & Oct. 5-7
------------------------------
Century Ballroom and The Tin Table bring you the Bubble Ball
------------------------------
Being an outlaw - Actress Chloë Sevigny brings an axe-wielding Lizzie Borden to life in Lizzie
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS
------------------------------

------------------------------
Compelling Lizzie an axe-wielding drama of romance and regret
------------------------------
21st Annual Local Sightings Film Festival Sept. 21-29
------------------------------
Legal melodrama The Children Act showcases a stellar Thompson
------------------------------
Cosmatos' Mandy overflowing in expressionistically bonkers bravado
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News