Friday, May 08, 2020

Deep Diving: Beyond the Black Rainbow & Mandy

Regular Sun readers already know I am a huge fan of Panos Cosmatos' two feature films, Beyond the Black Rainbow and Mandy. 

I'd go so far to say they're among my top five movies of the past two decades, if not the top three. If there were even just a few more like these I wouldn't be so pessimistic about cinema.

This is no small thing seeing how I've grown incredibly weary of the feature film format. I have zero interest in almost everything coming out of Hollywood, certainly not the brain-slaying dreck oozing out of the major studios like pus from a gash. 

I've said it before, but I believe Cosmatos has the potential to fill David Lynch's enormous shoes, particularly as I get the feeling Lynch is getting ready to call it a day and hang up his camera.

Cosmatos is not another Lynch clone, however. He vies for the "New Lynch" garlands precisely because he doesn't even try to ape the Master's style. Like so many of the best filmmakers working today he is also clearly influenced by Kubrick, but speaks in a language all his own.

I have no clue what the hell he's been doing all this time (he's 45 years old and has only made two movies) but the world is much, much poorer for not having more Panos Cosmatos films in it, believe me.

I also have to wonder what Cosmatos has experienced in his own life, because he is an auteur of nightmare and hallucination like few others. I certainly recognize the horror-scapes he moves within; not so much the visuals themselves but more the driving back-beat of primal terror that pounds inside your skull when you come to realize that you've broken your mind and there's nothing you can do to fix it. 

I've spent a lot of time -- way, way too much, really -- in my life in these kinds of interior hells, so I suppose it takes one to know one. Mind you, I could do well without that kind of gnosis, but I could say the same about a lot of things.

So with that cheery preamble, please sit back and enjoy this epic deep-dive as our pals Recluse and Colin Reid and myself get into these stunning, life-changing films and the rich, loamy soil they grew out of. We cover a lot of parapolitical and metaphysical bases Sunners will be familiar with and do so in the context of two of the most important works of cinema in recent memory. 

I love these films so much I did a lot of preparation for this summit, so you get relatively smooth and articulate Chris, not stuttering idiot Chris. Mark the date!


So, you want to keep the Sun shining? Here's how you can do your part: buy yourself a copy of He Will Live Up in the Sky at these fine book-mongers. 

Buy early and often!