IMDb > Archangel (1990)
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Archangel (1990) More at IMDbPro »


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6.8/10   917 votes »
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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Guy Maddin (screenplay)
George Toles (screenplay)
View company contact information for Archangel on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 September 1990 (Canada) See more »
A Tragedy of the Great War
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(10 articles)
The Forbidden Room Review [Lff 2015]
 (From We Got This Covered. 11 October 2015, 12:32 PM, PDT)

Lost Film Spirits: A Conversation with Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson
 (From MUBI. 24 February 2015, 10:49 AM, PST)

Telluride announces guest directors
 (From ScreenDaily. 18 June 2014, 3:40 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Eisenstein's Smooth Stones of Forgetfulness See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)
Michael Gottli ... Jannings
David Falkenburg ... Geza
Michael O'Sullivan ... Doctor
Margaret Anne MacLeod ... Baba

Ari Cohen ... Philbin
Sarah Neville ... Danchuk
Kathy Marykuca ... Veronkha
Kyle McCulloch ... Lt. John Boles
Victor Cowie ... Sea Captain
Ihor Procak ... Monk
Robert Lougheed ... Kaiser Wilhelm II
Stephen Snyder ... Stage Kaiser Wilhelm II (as Snyder)
Michael Powell ... Red Cross Nurse
Sam Toles ... Young Philbin
Lloyd Weinberg ... Priest
Graham Bicq ... Baby (as Graham Blicq)

Brent Neale ... Lustful Youth / Allied Soldier
Caroline Bonner ... Lustful Youth
Cheryl Falkenberg ... Child
Alyssa Szöke ... Child (as Allyssa Soke)
Heather Neale ... Child
David Neale ... Child
Jilian Maddin ... Child
John Harvie ... Worshipper
Shannon Garry ... Worshipper
Donna Szöke ... Worshipper / Home Woman
Jay Ashmore ... Worshipper / Allied Soldier
Kate Bromley ... Worshipper
Bruce Duggan ... Worshipper
Ron Eyolfson ... Worshipper
Ida Eyolfson ... Worshipper
Bernice Peterson ... Worshipper
Herdis Maddin ... Worshipper
Mark Yuill ... Worshipper
Kurt Moritz ... Hun
Mitch Funk ... Hun
Hans Ter Horst ... Hun
Rick Match ... Hun
Greg Klymkiw ... Hun
David Isherwood ... Hun
Neil Lawrie ... Hun
Robert Nixon ... Hun (as Bob Nixon)
Masha Geller ... Home Woman
Therese Brabant ... Home Woman / Russian Soldier (as Thérèse Brabant)
Tiffany Taylor ... Home Woman
Jim Keller ... Russian Soldier
Karen Harvich ... Russian Soldier (as Karen Harvitch)
Kei Ng ... Russian Soldier
Gene Walz ... Russian Soldier
Chris Johnson ... Russian Soldier
Danielle Boilly ... Russian Soldier
Elise Nelson ... Russian Soldier
Bif Naked ... Russian Soldier (as Biff Tolbert)
Tracy Traeger ... Russian Soldier

Angela Heck ... Russian Soldier
Nicola Guttormson ... Russian Soldier
Joe Burgess ... Bolshevik
Brad Linden ... Bolshevik
Mark Pomrenke ... Bolshevik
Dean Naday ... Bolshevik
Wayne Watson ... Bolshevik
Vince Rimmer ... Bolshevik
Renji Panicker ... Allied Soldier (as Ranj Pannikar)
Carl Matheson ... Allied Soldier
Ian Handford ... Allied Soldier
Hirsch Binder ... Allied Soldier (as Hirsh Binder)
Don Hewak ... Allied Soldier
Jeff Solylo ... Allied Soldier
Steve Sandiford ... Allied Soldier
Danny Gunn ... Allied Soldier
David Cowie ... Allied Soldier

Directed by
Guy Maddin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John B. Harvie  story suggestion
Guy Maddin  screenplay
George Toles  screenplay

Produced by
Andre Bennett .... executive producer
Greg Klymkiw .... producer
Tracy Traeger .... associate producer
Tracy Traeger .... line producer
Cinematography by
Guy Maddin 
Film Editing by
Guy Maddin 
Production Design by
Dennis W. Smith 
Art Direction by
Guy Maddin 
Jeff Solylo 
Costume Design by
Donna Szöke 
Makeup Department
Bill Sciak .... barber (uncredited)
Production Management
Andre Bennett .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Deanne Rohde .... assistant director
Art Department
Joe Burgess .... carpenter
Larry Clark .... carpenter
Wes Crealock .... carpenter
Shirley Macklin .... set dresser
Michael Powell .... props
Michael Powell .... set dresser
Deanne Rohde .... props
Dean Smallwood .... carpenter
Murray Toews .... set dresser
Craig Walls .... carpenter
Sound Department
Russ Dyck .... adr editor
Guy Maddin .... sound
Clive Perry .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Scott Collins .... titles photographer
Pierre Naday .... lighting technician
Terry Reimer .... lighting technician
Jerry Turchyn .... camera operator (as Gerry Turchyn)
Animation Department
Patrick Lowe .... animator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marion Degraves .... seamstress (as Marion DeGraves)
Heidi Kroeger .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Therese Brabant .... assistant editor (as Thérèse Brabant)
Dawna Dobbs .... negative cutter
Other crew
Ed Baran .... publicist
Alex Dobrowolski .... legal services
Phyllis Laing .... accountant
Hans Ter Horst .... production assistant
Tracy Traeger .... accountant
Jason Werbics .... production trainee
Ron Wilson .... insurance
Graham Asmundson .... special thanks
Michelle Bischoff .... special thanks
Gigi Boyd .... special thanks
Jacqueline Brodie .... special thanks
Alan Conter .... special thanks
Martin Delisle .... special thanks
Bruce Duggan .... special thanks
Bill Grey .... special thanks
Dennis Jakob .... special thanks
Pauline Kijek .... special thanks
Madeleine Lamont .... special thanks
Jean Lefebvre .... special thanks
Don Martin .... special thanks
Chris Mondor .... special thanks
Clive Perry .... special thanks
Francoyse Picard .... special thanks
Jimmy Silden .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 Neville. Marykuca was a natural blond and wore a dark wig for the film.See more »
[first lines]
Lt. John Boles:Goodbye Iris.
See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Eisenstein's Smooth Stones of Forgetfulness, 14 July 2006
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

I only know a few of Maddin's projects. This seems to be the earliest available.

I'm really beginning a deep appreciation of this man's visual soul. While this project didn't change my life, it demonstrated the power to do so, like a strutting policeman among weak minds.

What I like about his mind is how he seats the thing first in the soul, then in the cinematic vocabulary instead of the usual path which values character, motivations, narrative clarity. What he's done here is revisit Eisenstein. I don't suppose many filmgoers have much truck for a Russian silent filmmaker who was primarily occupied in Soviet propaganda. He developed some important ideas about how a scene (never a movie — only a scene) can be constructed from visual fragments — what it means to "see."

His particular solutions aren't popular today, and the whole idea of slicing the eye has been appropriated to the service of now-conventional values of storytelling and the cult of celebrity — some few jokes and even fewer emotions destinations.

Eisenstein's idea is based on the notion of readable cells of retinal comprehension, more or less of the same size which when combined give an impression. The more discrete the components in presentation the more comprehensible the assembly, what he called the collage.

What Maddin does here is make a metaEisenstein. The story is set in Russia and populated by international warriors, all of whom have only a groggy notion of why they are there. Our hero, like Maddin, is Canadian. It is essentially a silent movie. There is a parallel movie that is a talkie, into which this silent, main piece is embedded.

Within the silent movie is a sort of "movie within," exactly as abstract from the silent portion as the silent portion is to the talkie portion and thence not to our world (as is the usual case with folding) but to the world of normal movies.

That "movie within" is the "illumination" a set of stage tableaux depicting famous battles. If you experience nothing but these — or rather if you skate over all the surrounding context and focus only on these — you will be rewarded. There's so much reference there.

The overall theme of the thing is the hard boundary of memory, where the continuity of knowing begins and ends. In the story, this exhibits as amnesia plus a sort of quantum identity shifts — of women, who else? That's good, its valuable. But the interesting thing is how this is seated in the collage itself. Eisenstein's idea is that each cell, each image, of the collage needs to have some reference to the others. The art is in the nature of that reference.

Maddin makes that reference sit on the cells. In his case they are not bubbles in transparent foam that light can shine through. Instead they are stones, smooth stones with hard impenetrable skins that only know themselves and keep forgetting those they are nestled against. So they forget who they are.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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