UNIQUE APPROACH TO THE HUMAN BODY: BERTRAND MANDICO
Bertrand Mandico is fascinated by bodies; he’s provoked by them, he paints them, he changes, moves and deforms them, and takes them from one shape into the next. It doesn’t matter who the parts belong to, what matters is that they move in front of the camera. Not even death saves bodies from Mandico’s camera, which animates and destroys them, but, at the same time, returns them to life. This is the case in the short Living Still Life (2014), where a woman –with a stop motion alchemy of sorts– manages to make dead animals walk again with this animation technique.
It’s precisely in these animations where the corporeality of the physical elements set on stage account for the visual cross-cutting nature of his work, drawing a comparison to challenging cult filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk. While in charge of a retrospective and tribute to the Polish creator, Mandico made Boro in the Box (2011), a biography/tribute of sorts where the protagonist-filmmaker is transformed into a camera, a wooden box from which he looks at the world.
The close relationship that Mandico establishes between self-image, bodies and cinema itself is thus made perfectly clear. This world is explored in a far more reflexive and explicit way in his most recent short, Ultra pulpe (2018), staging the shooting of a genre film where all the bodies, even those which are dismembered, speak about the likely romance between the female director and the leading actress.