It all starts, as it so often does, on a train. The main character (Darcy Fehr), a rebellious, alternate-reality incarnation of Maddin himself, sleeps and dreams his way through the main avenues, alleyways and inlets of Winnipeg in the business class section of a ghost engine. Desperate to leave the memories of his home burg, he begins remembering his childhood, partly recreates it, and then peppers it with large swigs of fantasized recollections and recreational mythologies.
Continue reading: My Winnipeg Review
Don't be surprised if you find a carnival barker outside the theatre saying these very words. Maddin's latest malcontent thrust into the past goes all out to recreate the real deal in a silent film experience. Besides the grainy, jumpy camera work and the burnt-out trickery found in the best silent films, Maddin has commissioned an orchestra to play all the music live and a bevy of celebrities to provide live, spoken narration to the piece. Names as varied as Crispin Glover, Lou Reed, and Isabella Rossellini stand at a podium, shouting and retracing the short bursts of words seen on the screen. For any true cinephile, this has Venom and the Sandman beaten by a country mile.
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All of which seems to further 2003 as the year of the outlandish fantasy. As Sylvain Chomet's singular vision brought us a work derived purely from an irrepressibly inventive mind with The Triplets of Belleville, here Canadian director Guy Maddin (Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary, Fleshpots of Antiquity) works from a co-authored original screenplay with Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) in a manner that combines the storytelling and musical vitality of Topsy-Turvy with the visual imagery out of the German expressionism of F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, The Phantom) but with its own richness of character. I call it "high concept 8mm."
Continue reading: The Saddest Music In The World Review