Panos Cosmatos' hallucinogenic, retro-'80s revenge thriller offers the full Nicolas Cage experience.
I can kind of get why people would laugh at that Cage scene, but it makes me glad I saw this at home--I found that sequence really affecting, and the rawness of it felt really honest to me. The whole movie kind of belongs to Riseborough, and one of the things I love about Cage's performance is that he clearly understands this; so that when Mandy dies and the focus shifts to him, he still never feels like the main character. God, I need to watch this again.
Seeing this at the Music Box here in Chicago with a crowd that seemed to love and be baffled by it is pretty much the origin story of AGE OF CAGE. (Also, obligatory promotion: the book is still available. The paperback comes out 3/21 but the hardcover is currently even cheaper on Amazon and I think there's a coupon on the book's page there, too). (https://www.amazon.com/Age-Cage-Decades-Hollywood-Singular/dp/1250848822/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1678291692&sr=8-1)
I've been a member of the Panos Cosmatos cult ever since I caught a midnight screening of Beyond the Black Rainbow. Mandy confirmed he wasn't a one-cult wonder, and his episode of Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities was by far my favorite of the lot. He's a writer/director who isn't shy about his influences, but he's synthesized them in such a way that the end results could only come from him and him alone.
One of the best theatrical experiences I’ve had this century. Everyone was up for it, even though no one was entirely sure what “it” was. Movie magic.
damn Scott/ long-time NCC reader, and Mandy sure seems like a lay-up for the article BUT YA TURNED IT INTO A SLAM DUNK. great read.
Very excited for Support the Girls, might get a Steph Curry tattoo to tide me over
I just want to say here that The New Cult Canon was literally my favorite thing on the internet back in the AV Club days. Like Scott, I was a huge fan of Danny Peary’s “Cult Movies” books and was eager for more with that sensibility. I actually have every one of those NCC pieces saved on Word files. (Some I read while others I wanted to wait until after I’d seen the film spoiler-free.) When I discovered during Thanksgiving vacation that Scott was continuing the series on Substack, I wasted no time in subscribing to The Reveal. I had told Scott years ago that I hoped he’d cover at least 200 films like Peary did. Now there’s the possibility that could happen!
Nervous audience laughter during Bad Lieutenant Port of Call: New Orleans? Check.
The criminally underrated Support the Girls is on HBO Max. Regina Hall is a treasure.
Also, there's a Cheddar Goblin.
My main impression of Mandy was that the hype around its psychedelic, trippy visuals was real and accurate.
Man, I'm glad I got to see this one in the theater with a late night audience that was really in sync with it. It's definitely one that's stuck with me.
I'm not sure you can finish Keith's great Age of Cage without walking away thinking "Well I'll be damned if Nicolas Cage isn't in more great movies than just about anyone." It made me immediately go searching for this article I'd read years ago in Newsweek that asked "Who is making movies we'll still be watching in 50 years?" Critic David Ansen was mostly looking at the big stars born post-1960 and went through Cruise, Roberts, Pitt, etc before finally landing on Cage as the guy who is possibly going to have the longest-lasting legacy. And that was years before Mandy and Pig!
(Here's that article: https://www.newsweek.com/anybody-making-movies-well-actually-watch-50-years-121793)