LFF 2018 Preview - Mandy
Dir: Panos Cosmatos
Starring Nic Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke
Nic Cage goes hunting “crazy evil” (in a psychedelic Elmer Fudd kinda way) in spectacular fashion in Panos Cosmatos’ singularly deranged latest. Cage is a lumberjack (and he’s alright, at least initially.) He and his wife Mandy (Riseborough) live in splendid isolation in the big deep, dark forest, until a group of wandering Satanists/deformed bikers – all apparently the product of some spiked LSD – wander by and Manson-like leader Jeremiah (Roache) decides he wants Mandy for his own. When she laughs at both his cock and his attempts at folk music however, he ties her in a sack and burns her alive in front of trussed up hubby Cage – who is not happy about it. Cue a savage, trippy as all hell revenge movie coupled with a very literal descent into hell.
Mandy – nothing to do with the Barry Manilow song but apparently owing a lot to a King Crimson number – is wilfully excessive, woefully indulgent and strangely kinda fun. By the time Cage is hoovering up a nose-full of coke and lighting his cigarette off the burning head of a man he’s just decapitated, well, if you’re not laughing, you’ve probably missed the point.
Cosmatos’ raison d’etre here is excess, often for excess’ sake. But he’s so determined – and so well met by his leading man - that this psyched out trip into the fringes of insanity and way, way beyond is difficult to forget. Cage is as bat shit crazy as he’s ever been in a career that has delivered plenty of bat shit crazy. For once he has found a vehicle that bat shit crazy knows how to drive.
Cult-dom – whether misguided or not – is guaranteed.
Mandy plays the LFF on 12 & 17 October
More info @ www.bfi.org.uk/lff
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