For this week’s topic I wanted to discuss a piece that simultaneously pulls tears and love right out from me. The late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson had blessed us with the original score for the sci-fi/horror film Mandy shortly before his death.
Mandy is a simple – yet complicated – love and revenge story. Red Miller (Nicholas Cage) and his girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) are madly in love. He is a lumberjack and she is an artist. They are completely enamored with each other and it is beautiful to watch. Their relationship gracefully treads the line of playful and mature, and we as an audience are in love with them almost immediately.
However, when Mandy catches the attention of a local cult leader, he has an immediate fantasy about her and decides to stop at nothing until he can have her. Equal parts hallucinatory trip, equal parts violent, and equal parts romantic, this film was rather good.
he music is perfect for what you are seeing unfold on the screen. It has its impactful moments when the action picks up as well as the sweet melodic pieces when the romance is budding. My favorite piece is simply titled “Mandy Love Theme”, and it is just a beautifully haunting piece reminiscent of Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada. I listen to this one with my eyes closed and meditating quite frequently in the car.
Mandy is available for streaming on Shudder.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra