A musical of sorts set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win the $25,000 prize.
Maria de Medeiros
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Strange, funny, stylish and very "Guy Maddin" worth seeing despite making no sense at all!
Widow Paramo has lost her husband, Don Paramo, to the plague. Their daughter Dolores is inconsolable. With death in the air, Dolores is considering suicide, with El Muerto (the eater of souls) preparing himself to welcome her into the darkness. To save her daughter, Widow Paramo must battle the great El Muerto and defeat him. This battle, as with all existential wars, happens in a Mexican boxing ring and takes the form of a wrestling match.
To the casual reader, my plot summary may suggest that perhaps I should really try and cut down on my weed habit, stop drinking a bottle of wine a day or at least try to focus on the films I am watching; however, let me assure you that the story I have spelt out above is actually the story of this film. From the mind of none other than Guy Maddin (who else would) this short film sees all manner of weird stuff happening in his usual rapid-fire, silent fire style. It makes no sense of course, but it works because it is endlessly inventive, funny and interesting. In a feature, a total lack of substance with style carrying the load would be a major problem but in short films (and this short in particular) it works.
Those not familiar with Guy Maddin's better work will perhaps be left bewildered and keen to move on, but for those who know what he can do this film serves as a taster for better films while also being worth a look as well. Available on the "Saddest Music" DVD, this is perhaps the best way to see it with other material, but it is still worth seeing simply because it is funny and very, very different from anything else you'll see soon!
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