Bertrand Mandico (FR)



On the weekend before the opening of the Spider Festival of Radical Bodies, we invite you for a special cinematic treat, selected by a young film director Miha Možina.

Debut feature from notoriously provocative French experimental artist Bertrand Mandico is set in early 20th century and tells the tale of five rich adolescent boys all played by actresses. Enamored by the arts but drawn to occult crime and transgression they rape and murder their literature teacher and have to board a repressive cruise ship as punishment. Led by a violent Captain hell-bent on taming their ferocious appetites they arrive on a supernatural island full of dangers and pleasures where their transformation can begin. Shot in gorgeous 16mm and brimming with eroticism, genderfluidity and humor, The Wild Boys will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.

Miha Možina on his film selection:

“The Wild Boys” take us on a rough, esoteric, surreal, romantic journey, erasing the boundaries between cinema and sexuality. This organic dream-like adventure offers the audience a chance to experience and question their own hidden impulses and desires. A specific “mindfuck” occurs while watching this film, because of the gender alterations between the protagonists. It was indeed very interesting to me how many layers and relational transformations concerning the subjects and contexts I was experiencing through this kind of meta-alternation. Here the discourse on socially enforced gender roles, gender bending and equality has been brought to an effective extreme.

Bertrand Mandico doesn’t use post-production digital effects or CGI to create his fantastic worlds, but rather relies on creative, by now already archaic, mixture of practical camera effects, set designs, props and back projections. A tangible carnality is incorporated in the very media of its’ creation. The radical psychology and physicality protruding from every single second of this 16mm reel of perforated celluloid is, in my opinion, a qualitative addition to this years thematic focus of the Spider Festival.