Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »
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In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest... See full summary »
A sensitive exploration of the tragic irony of the psychiatrist suffering with mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist married to another psychiatrist; both are successful in ... See full summary »
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse which served as the orphanage, memories of strange events there overpower him. An undercover investigation by child author/detective Wendy & a revolt by the repressed children, blew open a cover-up by Guy's parents. Wendy disguised herself as her brother Chance and discovered that Maddin's inventor father performed outré scientific experiments on the orphans. Written by
I caught this yesterday at the NYFF and have to say that I think its Maddin's best since The Heart of the World. According to the Q&A he did after the screening and other info I read about the film in other places, he was given about five weeks to write the film (along with George Toles) and shot it in a little over a week. The breakneck speed of production time really shows in the imaginative and exuberant pace of the film. I won't mention too much of the plot -- any fan of other Guy Maddin films will know this would be futile to attempt -- but the character Guy revisits his island home, with its looming lighthouse, which was the site of a twisted orphanage run by his parents. Add a little remembrance of things past and Guy is overcome by an onslaught of memories of the crime, terror, lost loves, strange secrets, and cultish perversions of his youth involving his pan-optic raging mother and mad scientist father, as well as the strange and calamitous history of his childhood friend Neddie and his mysterious tics and spasms! And this is just the beginning. As with most of his work since Careful and Archangel (probably Maddin's twin masterpieces), Maddin employs a fast micro-edit style that dissolves any stable notion of continuity or classical narrative perspective. The result is a continually refreshing mix of a montage kino aesthetic (without the high theory) and an avant-gardist imagistic abstraction. This exhilarating style coupled with ever shifting melodramatic gusts gives an excellent picture of Maddin's recent work. And while the film admittedly cannot quite sustain the impact of its first twenty or twenty-five minutes, you cannot exactly find fault with a film as adventurous as this, which is attempting more (and doing it with less resources) almost any other film you will ever see. I can't imagine that anything could top the format it was presented in last night (live orchestra, foley artists, and Isabella Rosellini as the narrator) but I would urge anyone to go see it, in any circumstance, as soon as they can.
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