Streaming VOD Movie of the 2nd Week of 2020 : MANDY Shudder Amazon Prime


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MANDY (2018)– Finally catching this 2018 released film courtesy of SHUDDER. And I have to say… stunning. A lurid and at times lucid nightmarish primary color tinged, cosmic fueled descent into the Maelstrom; a revenge flick that goes to damnation and beyond. Panos Cosmatos has created a singular vision of the places that wait beyond our reason, places horrid , and awe-inspiring, and unrelenting. And all we must offer up… is everything.

A stunning film by Cosmatos, fueled by a great score by (I have just found out) the late and uber talented Johann Johannsson (composer of one of the best scores of recent memory, SICARIO… he will be missed), and powered by transformative performances by all; but particularly by Nicholas Cage, who takes us into the maelstrom with him, into hearts of darkness.

Nicolas Cage has really been taking some rough roles, brutal roles recently. That will take much out of any actor, and he does it again here, but going further than anyone should have to, into places dark and demanding. And it is so great to see the legendary Bill Duke in a film, he just raises the bar of everything he is in, and does so here. Panos Cosmatos (the son of George Cosmatos who directed one of my favorite films, TOMBSTONE, also an iconic film, with revenge, pushing the wrong man too far, at its core conceit)  with only his second film, the first the equally magical realism imbued BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW, has cemented himself for me, as a director to seek out, and to purchase his films when available.

And Kudos to producers Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah for helping champion these criminally underused (and in one case, seemingly blacklisted) visionaries, and working with them to get their films out to a wider audience again. MANDY is very much a gift, from a filmmaker who we have not heard from since 2010. Also very much looking forward to their collaboration with Richard Stanley.

Final thoughts on MANDY… Hypnotic and an experience, that is… compellingly watchable and re-watchable. It is a rabbit hole, and will suck you in. Highly recommended!

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When you have viewed it courtesy of streaming, ‘tried before you buy’ so to speak, and are as impressed as I am, then I suggest buying on Bluray. However I would hold out until they release a steel-book or digi-book with special features to include commentary. The Bluray on the market now lacks any commentary or really notable special features, which I think is a big misstep, to release a bare-bones disc. These days I do not buy a disc, unless it is loaded with special feature to include a commentary track.

In the age of streaming you really need to step up your game with the special features to make the Bluray worth it. Here’s hoping a full fledged disk will be released soon, this film deserves it.


There is No Forgetting (Sonata) by Pablo Neruda, translated by Clayton Eshleman

Someone spoke to me today of passion.

She didn’t speak profoundly.

Who does these days? Only madmen and writers. 🙂

But I heard something profound.

Something about, those who lacking, search for it, and those who filled, seek wildly for someone to share the weight of it.

The… madness of it.


Finding passion in living, in life, in the road less ordinary.

Finding magic, even in the mundane.

It made my mind wander to the work of Pablo Neruda.

There are many translations of Neruda’s poems, I think when you read the following you’ll agree Clayton Eshleman’s is clearly the most… haunting and eloquent. There’s a melody, and a picturesqueness to works written in the romance languages, a sense of surrealism and magic realism, that is typically lost when translated to English.

Not so here.

See for yourself:

There is No Forgetting (Sonata)
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Clayton Eshleman

If you ask me where I have been
I have to say “it happens.”
I have to speak of ground darkened by stones,
of the river that enduring destroys itself:
I know only the things that birds lose,
the sea left behind, or my tearful sister.
Why so many regions, why does one day
attach to another? Why does a black night
accumulate in one’s mouth? Why the dead?

If you ask me from where I come, I have to converse with
broken things,
with deeply-embittered utensils,
with great beasts often rotted
and with my own anguished heart.

Those who have passed are not remembered
nor is the yellowish dove, asleep in oblivion,
nor the faces with tears,
the fingers at throats,
nor that which tumbles from the leaves:
the obscurity of an elapsed day,
a day nourished with our sad blood.

Here are some violets, swallows,
everything that pleases us and appears
on saccharine cards in long gowns
around which time and sweetness stroll.

But we must not penetrate beyond those teeth,
must not bite into the husks amassed by silence,
for I do not know what to answer:
there are so many dead,

and so many sea walls cracked by the red sun
and so many heads smashed against boats,
and so many hands that have locked up kisses,
and so many things that I want to forget.

If you like that, first seek medical attention :), 2nd consider picking up a copy of CONDUCTORS OF THE PIT
, it’s filled with great Eshleman translations.