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Retrospective - Bertrand Mandico

​L'homme de Mandico

The films by Bertrand Mandico belong to the History of Heresies. Demons are said to be gods whose worship has ceased to be perpetuated by human society. Today’s cinema is a Satan. From the moment a popular art ceases to be lived collectively, it becomes a heresy. But it is also the instant, as rapid as the fluttering wings of the Angel, where he can explore what belongs only to him. His ritual intensifies to the point that all his officiants seem to be possessed with erotic fury. His narrations become inquiries into the methods of his own magical activity. All his images are as precise as spells.

 

The films by Bertrand Mandico belong to the History of Urban Legends. For a long time, as mythical as they were invisible, one had the impression that they came down to us like goddesses with many faces, shrouded in a thick electric cloud of waiting and mystery. Happy as Ulysses, the spectator had to navigate between festivals and retrospectives to catch a glimpse of each one of them. But once he had seen one, he couldn’t escape anymore: the film had a magical hold on him like Circe. The cinema remained in his memory as an Orphic temple full of human statues where he would have witnessed the summoning ritual of a goddess with lush flesh, full of ripening fruit and fading flowers.

 

The films by Bertrand Mandico belong to the History of Parallel Universes. Although New World filmmakers who, from Tod Browning to David Lynch,are an enigma, in their images – the films by Bertrand Mandico are deliberately de-Hollywoodized. It is the cinema of a mirror world where California does not exist. By removing the geography of cinema from his History, Betrand Mandico’s work has been made into a messianism without a promised land. Polish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, he made it an unrecognisable medium that turns its back on the 80s-90s-2000s-2010s and the reinstatement of the cinema as an illustration of the American policy of remodeling the world’s political map and the “exportation” of democracy. A medium that also turns its back on French “intimist” production and on this ridiculous  focusing on “the couple”, “short stories”, “daily life”. The films by Bertrand Mandico are the cinema of this parallel universe where France followed the magical line represented by Cocteau and Rivette rather than the slope of “middle-class stories” by Truffaut and Despléchin. The cinema of a parallel universe where it is Walerian Borowcyk and Andrzej Zulawski who influenced the young novice filmmakers of the 1980s rather than Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The cinema of a parallel universe that would have extolled the illustrations by Topor, the comic strips by Fred. The cinema of a world where Nerval would be king.

 

With this box set now in your hands as a “portable temple”, the films by Bertrand Mandico can be viewed and re-lived by replaying them over and over again in your home. They will turn your flats into cosmic caves of hot flesh. They will plunge you into his funny dialogues, hanging on and cruel just like a bubble bath. But the more you watch them over again, the more they will see and influence you – and you mutate together to become that kind of mutant with purple eyelids and that his films now call: a rigorous parahumanity just like eroticism, as exciting as arithmetic, as overwhelming as logic, as clear-cut as madness, as anxious as daybreak; a parahumanity just as fabulous as the abominable snowman, the Loch Ness monster, the Manticore or the Berbalang: something like “Mandico, The Man”. The films by Bertrand Mandico belong to the History of Fantastic Zoology.

 
By Pacôme.
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Bertrand Mandico 4

NUMAX

Length: 90m 40s

Etienne Charry / Osmose

Etienne Charry / Osmose

Bertrand Mandico

  • 2003
  • 04:00
  • France
  • VID
  • COL

Video clip in which a couple who are in love give in to their passion next to a lagoon with mutant properties under the watchful eye of a nemesis in the woods.

Notre dame des hormones

Our Lady of Hormones

Bertrand Mandico

  • 2014
  • 31:23
  • France
  • FIC
  • COL

Two actresses are rehearsing a play over a weekend in a country house. While walking in the woods, one unearths a strange thing.The creature becomes an object of desire for both women, desperate to own the thing. But what they don’t know is that they just found Our Lady of Hormones.

Prehistoric Cabaret

Prehistoric Cabaret

Bertrand Mandico

  • 2013
  • 09:31
  • France
  • FIC
  • COL

Arnarstapi, Iceland. In a Cabaret, a woman master of ceremonies performs an esoteric colonoscopy act with a strange organic camera. The images of the camera are screened behind her. The master of ceremonies offers us a journey into the centre of her organs, to meet a creature that lives within her, within all of us... the original being. During this journey, the audience gets into a trance state that reaches ecstasy. Once the act completed, the master of ceremonies is left aside.

Y’a-t-il une vierge encore vivante ?

Any Virgin Left Alive?

Bertrand Mandico

  • 2016
  • 08:46
  • France
  • FIC
  • COL

According to a legend, Joan of Arc didn’t die at the stake. Her eyes were burnt and she was deflowered by an English stallion. She was then condemned to roam the battlefield, a scavenger, looking for life and searching for those virgins left alive.

Ultra Pulpe

Ultra Pulpe

Bertrand Mandico

  • 2018
  • 37:00
  • France
  • FIC
  • COL

An abandoned seaside resort. The shooting for a fantasy film about the end of an era wraps up. Two women, both members of the film crew, one an actrice, the other a director, APOCALYPSE and JOY, are on the verge of concluding their love affair. To give APOCALYPSE the time for one last embrace, JOY, the eldest of the two, recites 5 tales of sunsets. Five stories of women who do not want to age, 5 adventures of science fiction, vulgarity, necrophilia and poetry. Five sequences that reference the making of a fantasy film about the end of an era.