INCOHERENCE MANIFESTO: FOUR FILMS BY BERTRAND MANDICO

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Bertrand Mandico has outlined his filmmaking aims in his “Incoherence Manifesto”: artifice, irrationality, and the inherent magic of aging film stock and analog effects. But a certain affinity for genre, plot, and character, at least as starting points for distortion and unpredictable development, keeps most of his works oddly engaging. Take his most elaborate to date, Our Lady of the Hormones, in which two aging actresses take a long weekend in the countryside to practice their latest roles, but become side-tracked when they fall into a violent love triangle with a purring oozing organ discovered in the woods. Here the familiar, the imagined, and the wildly hallucinatory merge into a cinema resolutely true to its own logic alone.

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DEPRESSIVE COP
2015, Scotland / France, 13 min.

A noir: on a remote Scottish island, a mask-visaged police officer helps a mother seek a vanished teen daughter. But both mother and daughter — or conceivably even all three principles — are played by Löwensohn, pointing the film into an absurdist maelstrom of eyes, sex, and confused identities. Genre conventions, here, provide just enough of a spine for film to mutate at will.

OUR LADY OF THE HORMONES
AKA Notre-Dame des Hormones 
2015, France, 31 min.

Two aging actresses take a long weekend in the countryside to practice their latest roles, but become side-tracked when they discover a purring oozing organ alone in the woods. This organism quickly becomes the object of their games and fascinations, and an inevitable love triangle develops. But among actresses, can even the grand guignol confrontation that awaits be taken at face value? Narrated by Michel Piccoli, whose words of explanation just add another layer to the increasing disorientation, and shot in dazzling color photography whereby every bit of artificial nature, human furniture, and deer-with-breasts explodes hallucinatorily onto the screen.

PREHISTORIC CABARET
2014, Iceland / France, 10 min

Somewhere in Iceland a surrealist, colonoscopic nightclub act offers a biological portal into the past.

SALAMMBÔ 
2014, France, 8 min
Against a stark and empty landscape a young women taunts one much older, through gorgeously overlaid 16mm film. Could these apparitions be those of memory, of her own past, or of something more arcane?

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