An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.
Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »
In the Alpine village of Tolzbad in the 1800s, the townsfolk talk quietly and restrain their movements lest they incur avalanches. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emotions - shown... See full summary »
A short documentary on hair styles that appeal specifically to women of middle age and the middle class. Elements of sociological inquiry merge with Maddin's customary decayed imagery (... See full summary »
The patriarch of a troubled clan dies, but the resentment and yearning of the eldest son conspire to bring the errant father back for periodic visits in an only partially living state. ... See full summary »
Margaret Anne MacLeod,
Lt. John Boles, a one-legged soldier, is assisting the White Russians in the Russian Arctic during World War I. He finds himself in Archangel, a crystalline city of spires and domes, inhabited by some very confused people. Boles loves Iris, who is dead, and meets Veronkha, whom he mistakes for Iris. But Veronkha is already married to Philbin, who forgets he is married to Veronkha. Veronkha thinks Boles is Philbin... Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
Guy Maddin has stated that audience members viewing the film for the first time often confused the characters Veronkha and Danchukh because of the physical similarities between Kathy Marykuca and Sarah McLeod. Marykuca was a natural blond and wore a dark wig for the film. See more »
The more Maddin I see, the more addicted I am to his unique style
Guy Maddin makes surrealist films in the style of classic movies. Here, he chooses vintage Russian agitprop cinema as his main point of reference (if you've seen "Potemkin" or "Man With a Movie Camera", you'll pick up on the similarities). While its nowhere near as successful as his later short film "The Heart of the World", "Archangel" is an interesting cross between "Eraserhead" and Sergei Eisenstein. The result is a film with a few visual cues which may recall earlier works by other filmmakers, but the mood, atmosphere, and mindset of the whole project is entirely Maddin's. Like any good experimental filmmaker, its obvious he only makes his films for himself.
"Archangel" isn't one of Maddin's more successful projects. For me, it lacks the rich psychological core he began exploring with his next film (and his masterpiece) "Careful". Also, there are moments when it begins to drag badly. It could've been cut by ten or so minutes and been much better paced. Maddin already had his vision, but his skills as a filmmaker had yet to be fully developed. Still, there are so many memorable visual sequences and the film is completely unique its worth watching in spite of these flaws. It has a certain authentic nature to both fever dreams and classic cinema which makes Maddin much more than just another filmmaker who continually references better works. "Archangel" isn't the best place to start, but its certainly recommended. (7/10)
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