Guy Maddin

Guy Maddin

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My Winnipeg Review


Excellent
My Winnipeg, the latest walk down memory lane from Canadian maestro Guy Maddin, flirts most flagrantly with commercial appeal and convention. This goes double for a filmmaker who has consistently burrowed himself into the fractured nostalgia of the silent era, peep shows, news reels, and ham-fisted/hard-boiled noirs with nothing but wild-blue-yonder glee. Yet, besides its outset of being a "documentary," there is little familiar about Maddin's wonderscape that isn't hardwired directly into the auteur's stylistic stigmas.

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

Brand Upon The Brain! Review


Excellent
Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls (Over 18)! Welcome to the Spectacle of the Summer! Prepare Your Eyes for Popping and Your Jaw for Dropping! We Invite You to Partake in the Newest of Celluloid Contraptions Created by that Crazy Canadian himself: Guy Maddin! Cross-dressing! Ritual Sacrifice! Incest! Teen Detectives! The Fountain of Youth! Vampirism! Cannibalism! The Resurrection! You Can Find All of This and More in Maddin's New Film: Brand Upon the Brain!

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.

Continue reading: Brand Upon The Brain! Review

The Saddest Music In The World Review


Excellent
The Saddest Music in the World starts off in the style of a dream, with impressionistic sets that are obviously stage props, grainy, low resolution black and white images obscured even further by fog or filtration, and stylized dialogue that seems more representational than real. But, about the time you expect the dreamer to awake and the film quality to revert to a slick 35mm normality, it doesn't. If this is a dream, or a vision, or the manifestation of a mind driven by mad storytelling technique, it's all part of the concept.

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

Guy Maddin

Guy Maddin Quick Links

News Film RSS
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Filmmaker


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Guy Maddin Movies

My Winnipeg Movie Review

My Winnipeg Movie Review

My Winnipeg, the latest walk down memory lane from Canadian maestro Guy Maddin, flirts most...

The Saddest Music in the World Movie Review

The Saddest Music in the World Movie Review

The Saddest Music in the World starts off in the style of a dream, with...

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