An abandoned seaside resort. The shooting for a fantasy film about the end of an era wraps up. Two women, both members of the film crew, one an actress, the other a director, Apocalypse and Joy, are on the verge of concluding their love affair…
The oneiric world of director Bertrand Mandico (The Wild Boys) is fuelled with overflowing female desire, erotic creatures and lavish landscapes, all scintillating with resplendent colors. A film-within-a-film set during the production of a fantasy movie is a delight for all the senses!
Even the self-indulgent celebration of artifice needs a substratum of relevance to real issues, all entirely lost in the magnification of hybridities (gendered, bodily, genre-related) that occupy Mandico's universe. Yet, for all the ingenuity in some scenes -which could have provided opportunity for serious reflection on filmmaking and after- the film operates like a bloated neon-aesthetic of the end of the human.
Featuring Elina Löwensohn as a director amusingly name of Joy D'Amato, APOCALYPSE AFTER is a short but dense lysergic serenade in praise of transgression. It owes as much to Alain Robbe-Grillet and (stated outright) Jean Cocteau as it does exploitation cinema or the work of filmmakers like Guy Maddin and Gregg Araki. I'd like to take the opportunity to pronounce that Vimala Pons is my favourite gladiator in all Rome.
This is my SHIT! That is some pure art right there. So rock n roll. I need to learn more about the costume designer for this because that fashion was inspiring af. Will definitely be revisiting a few times, and next time maybe paying attention to the subtitles more. First view purely absorbing the experience. Thanks Mubi for introducing me to this work of art.
To try and write a synopsis on what I just watched is a royal headache. Mandico is fast becoming one of my favorite directors, visioning neon poetry through his absurdist lens. In love with his production designer and gaffer. Maybe a few more watches of this one and I’ll understand it better....
Bertrand Mandico n'en a pas fini avec ses délires érotico-esthético-organiques ! L'inévitable Elina Löwensohn campe ici une réalisatrice sulfureuse, se perdant en fantasmes dans une quête désespérée de sa jeunesse perdue. Un hommage "ultra concentré" au cinéma underground des années 80, qui a le mérite d'aller jusqu'au bout du kitsch et de l'artificiel. Comme dans un film bollywoodien, le "too much" devient naturel…
Yet another stunningly beautiful surreal fantasy from Mandico. Perhaps, this time the plot and characters stay in the shadow of the visual grandeur, this still is a memorable experience nonetheless. Incredible set designs and costumes. Worth watching for its unique mood and style alone.