You’re right. It must have been this other post in the other thread by mok: Theatrical Film Releases that don’t need their own thread
Frankly, I’m jealous of James’ enthusiasm. As I said on the podcast, Mandy should have been for me. I was keenly aware of that as I watched it.
Here’s what I had to say about Mandy on another forum:
Started very strong but ended up, from the point the "revenge" bit gets going, disposable ephemera very much in the (false) spirit of Kung Fury and Hobo with a Shotgun, if much more slickly produced than either. Can't believe the director is 44, as it eventually revealed itself possessed of the sensibility of a self-proclaimed "edgy" 14-year old suburbanite, which makes it miss the "Conan meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre" mark it alllllmost hit. Wish neither I nor Cage had wasted the time. At least he (presumably) got paid for it.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I’m just kind of angry that the film that showed so much promise in its first hour ended up shitting all that promise away in the second. In retrospect, Cheddar Goblin, which seemed like a bizarre intrusion at the time, is a signal that represents a decisive shift for the movie’s “train” from one tonal “track” to another, and it’s not a smooth or earned shift, I think. Cosmatos appears to have absorbed a pastiche of the 70s/80s rather than their actual essence, which is what made me compare it to Kung Fury. The difference between those filmmakers and him, though, is that he actually lived through the 80s, which makes this film all the more bizarre to me, because it bears all the hallmarks of someone who only knows of a culture rather than knowing it, at least in its second half. I did not get this impression from the parts I’ve seen of Beyond the Black Rainbow, for what it’s worth, which makes what happened here all the more baffling and frustrating to me.
Anyway, first half of the movie is great, second half feels like it was made by someone who watches movie trailers rather than movies.
Well, apparently I wish I’d listened to the podcast before I shelled out $7 to Amazon for this. Ah well.
I am a horror movie fan. I am a movie fan in general. My father managed a movie theater from 1983 to 1992, and I went to work with him every Friday growing up and watched every new movie that came out. Probably not for the better. While I was exposed to things like “Ran” from a very young age where I could barely keep up with the subtitles, I also got a healthy dose of “Creepshow” and “Blue Velvet”. I became a film snob through highschool, college and grad school. Horror is my niche. Its something that appeals to me on a visceral level. Mandy felt to me like walking into those early Gialo films for the first time. Like Daemoni or maybe a Canon film. It appealed to me on that straight to the veins level, starting with the King Crimson song. I went in completely blind, but had some idea of what I was in for, having seen “Black Rainbow”.
Before Mandy, I would have put the Witch and Hereditary with Inside Llewyn Davis and The Grand Budapest Hotel at the top of my list for the best of the last five years. How’s that for a Schizophrenic list? Horror-wise, it sits with the Babadook, The Witch, It Comes at Night and It Follows.
When you open it wide, I really don’t know where it places. I think the filmmaker is visionary that needs to be watched. I think he is going to be someone that ends up being a new Lynch or PT Anderson level artist. I think we are seeing the first broad-strokes of an amazing career.
Before I lost my sister she used to not be able to watch Leo DiCaprio movies because she couldn’t disassociate the man from the character. It was her bias. It seems a problem a lot of people have with Nic Cage and this film.
As for the director, people that have a problem with him are probably the same people that have trouble with Lynch or Wes Anderson and “Indulgence”. I can see that. Its hard to watch “Holy Mountain” without seeing all the trees, but, by God there’s a beautiful forest there.
Thank you for the answers to my questions. That was a very enjoyable read. :)
Ditto. While I disagree with @axisandallies on Cosmotos, I respect his eloquent opinions up there. And his handle!
First of all, great post, thanks for sharing! And yes, I don’t have that problem with Nic Cage or Lynch, but I do with Wes Anderson. Rushmore was the first one I saw, and I loved it. But then I saw some of his other movies, which have a similar kind of quirkiness, and suddenly it stops being quirky and all I can see is the similarity and the pattern, and the same actors he likes to use doing slightly different roles, but all I can see in his movies are actors saying lines. It doesn’t happen to me with any other writer/director, but sadly it does with Wes Anderson. (Fantastic Mr. Fox gets around this problem by not having actors on the screen! I loved it!)
I love this detail. As you give us more of your memories, it becomes as though Cinema Paradiso had been directed by David Lynch. I love your post. As @marquac and others have said, a very enjoyable read. I hope you’ll consider being part of the movie club we’re doing. You have some insights beyond my own, and I always love getting a different perspective. This is why the whole heavy metal thing in this movie, brought up by Tom and a couple others, was so intriguing to me. It sailed right over my head because I was denied exposure to that when I was growing up.
For the record, I don’t have a problem with Wes Anderson. I’ve kept this a secret for many years, so don’t tell anybody.
“Who’s got The Throat-Slitter?”
I’m a huge Lynch fan and quite enjoy Holy Mountain (and El Topo!), and Life Aquatic is one of my favorite movies, although that might be colored by Buckaroo Banzai being one of my other favorite movies. I thought the first half of Mandy was very good and the second half sucked.
Kolbex is correct in their statement. Also what’s with these 18 certificate (equivalent R ?) horror being so squeamish they cut away from most all kills/brutality ? Maybe it’s the younger audiences fault as the hipster audience at my screening who hooted throughout, suddenly gasped at the eye popping scene like they had never seen anything like it before when in reality it was no stronger than Raiders of the Lost Ark head melting.
This squeamishness and the ultimately slapstick tone of this movie rendered it nothing more than a pretentious children’s film.
@tomchick was at it again: “J. Cameron-Smith”
I don’t know anything about dyslexia, but do we have enough evidence at this point to make a diagnosis?
What talking are you abuot?
People should only ever have two names. Once you add a third, it’s too hard to remember the order they all go in.
You always seem to get John Rhys - Davies correct…
…and Kodi Smit-McPhee!
…and Chloe Moretz-Grace and Marshall Logan-Green. It’s just certain actors who trip me up.