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I entered the BFI IMAX, the largest and loudest screen in the United Kingdom, at 18:20. At a shade after 18:40, Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room began. About two hours later I stumbled, disorientated, mumbling and drooling, onto the sandy banks of the Thames.
I can’t say I wasn’t warned; Guy Maddin himself had introduced the film, off-handedly joking that what we were about to see a) has the potential to induce aneurysms, b) that he’d be surprised if there was anyone left by the time it was finished and c) that he himself would only dare to watch the opening scenes before skedaddling backstage.
For those unfamiliar with Guy Maddin’s work, he’s an experimental filmmaker/installation artist with inclinations towards the silent/early talkie aesthetic. His plots often dive into the surreal and the metafictional, usually feeling as if they’re written according to alien rules of narrative. »
- David James
Imagine this. As you sit down in a full theater, the lights dim, curtain opens, and the projector strategically placed in the back of the room begins playing what you assume will be a relatively standard narrative feature film akin to the rest of the fall film slate. Oscar bait is on your mind, as all of a sudden, a prologue begins instructing the viewer on how to properly take a bath. Surreal, experimental, absurdest and delightfully childish, this is not the opening of the latest awards hopeful. Instead, this is how one of today’s greatest surreal auteurs has begun his latest masterpiece, one of 2015’s most dream-like, breathlessly original motion pictures.
Guy Maddin is at it once again with The Forbidden Room, a film beyond description. Opening with the aforementioned ode to proper hygiene, the film then shifts to what one could possibly describe as its central narrative, »
- Joshua Brunsting
The 44th edition of the Festival du Nouveau Cinema has just announced their entire lineup and it’s pretty insane! The festival which takes place in Montreal from October 7 to 18 is screening nearly 400 films and events in only 11 days. This includes 151 feature films and 203 short films from 68 countries – 49 world premieres, 38 North American premieres and 60 Canadian premieres. Give credit to the team of programmers: Claude Chamberlan, Dimitri Eipides Julien Fonfrède, Philippe Gajan, Karolewicz Daniel, Marie-Hélène Brousseau, Katayoun Dibamehr and Gabrielle Tougas-Frechette.
Below is the lineup. There’s a lot to process so take your sweet time!
Opening and closing
After its world premiere at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes last May, the new opus unconventional Belgian director, starring Benoît Poelvoorde (Three Hearts, Ransom of Glory), Yolande Moreau (Mammuth, »
The BFI London Film Festival has unveiled its industry programme and added three innovative film-makers to new strand Lff Connects.
Industry talks Lff Connects, which aim to explore the future of film and how film engages with other creative industries, has added writer, director, visual artist and vocalist Laurie Anderson; filmmaker and artist Guy Maddin; and virtual reality maestro Chris Milk.
Us artist Anderson is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. As writer, director, visual artist and vocalist she has created ground-breaking works that span the worlds of art, theatre and experimental music.
Her new documentary Heart of the Dog, which screens as a new programme addition at Lff, is her first feature since the 1986 concert movie Home of the Brave. At Lff Connects, Anderson will talk about her creative approach to filmmaking and how »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Laurie Anderson has picked a set of films, titled "Laurie Anderson Collection," now streaming on boutique Svod service SundanceNow Doc Club. The artist-filmmaker is currently in the news for her autobiographic Telluride premiere "Heart of a Dog," a cinematic collection of remembrances of her late, beloved, piano-playing, finger-painting dog Lolabelle. The film moves onto to Toronto this weekend before opening Wednesday, October 21. The six films now streaming in her Doc Club collection, including directors Werner Herzog and Guy Maddin, are "5 Broken Cameras," "Ballets Russes," "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "My Winnipeg" and "The Unmistaken Child." Below are her appropriately idiosyncratic notes for each film. Read More: Laurie Anderson's Puppy Love Paean 'Heart of a Dog' Warms Telluride and Venice 5 Broken Cameras (2012) "Here is the desert between Palestine and »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Tiff is about to kick off, and it wouldn’t be Tiff without a new film from Guy Maddin. The Canadian filmmaker, the man behind “Twilight Of The Ice Nymphs,” “The Saddest Music In The World” and “My Winnipeg,” among many others, is one of the country’s great arthouse exports, a filmmaker whose work both celebrates and examines film history while delving into all kinds of different subjects. Maddin’s latest is “The Forbidden Room,” and it’s heading to Tiff from Berlin and Sundance. To mark the occasion, Entertainment Weekly have debuted a new trailer for the film. Co-directed with his student Evan Johnson, the film is firmly in the phantasmagoric tradition of Maddin’s earlier work, with the usual silent cinema nods, a loose plot involving a submarine crew, and a starry cast featuring Mathieu Amalric, Geraldine Chaplin, Caroline Dhavernas, Charlotte Rampling, Ariane Labed and more. Maddin’s not for everyone, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
The octogenarian director Alejandro Jodorowsky relives his troubled childhood in 1930s Chile in a film of carnivalesque exuberance
The Chilean visionary Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first feature since 1990’s disappointing The Rainbow Thief is a fantastical quasi-autobiographical romp in the manner of Fellini’s Amarcord, or perhaps Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Adapted from Jodorowsky’s novel La Danza de la Realidad (with elements of El Niño del Jueves Negro), this is warmer than many of the director’s most revered works, yet not in the least constrained by its intimacy and affection. On the contrary, the phantasmagorial zest that first made El Topo and The Holy Mountain midnight-movie fixtures is very much to the fore, albeit tempered by a sense of resolution and resolve – the anarchic tranquillity of age.
Continue reading »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Any old documentary can give you the history of a city, but it takes a special kind of movie to capture its spirit, from the way the sun reflects off its walls to the smell of rain on its streets. Mark Cousins’ “I Am Belfast” transcends what is expected of such a portrait, inviting audiences on a sensory journey of the Northern Ireland capital, patiently guiding them through a deeply personal visual essay, where a radiant copper-headed woman embodies the very essence of the city — a 10,000-year-old soul sent to welcome visitors and bless those who have criss-crossed its neighborhoods all their lives. Cousins, a free spirit who spends much of his time on the festival circuit, duly earns his latest round of world travels with this entrancing project, while his reputation has reached the point that it should find limited distribution in other ports as well.
In recent years, »
- Peter Debruge
How do you make a movie about an artist whose craft traverses cartooning, graphic design, puppetry, comic books, model-building, and interior design? Here’s a better question, how do you make a film about this person and condense it down into 42 minutes? Seth’s Dominion is not an exhaustive documentary about the work of the Canadian cartoonist, but it’s almost exhausting as you bounce around the various thoughts, works, and biographical details from Seth’s life as covered by director Luc Chamberland. Seth’s Dominion is a 42 minute whirlwind that really neither asks nor answers anything of its subject matter and may be best viewed as kind of a film sketchbook, a rare look inside the thought process of an artistic renaissance man.
For the record, like Seth, I live in Guelph, Ontario, a city that lies about an hour’s drive west of Toronto. I walk past his »
- Adam A. Donaldson
Directed by Guy Madden
Written by George Toles and Guy Madden
Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg. Where sleepwalkers roam the snow laden streets. Where gender seperation exists in public swimming holes. Where the Winnipeg Jets arena is a shrine to everything that matters. It will be difficult to forget the Winnipeg Guy Madden has envisioned in this documentary for his hometown.
Originally concieved as a simple documentary about his hometown of Winnipeg, My Winnipeg subverts the traditional form of documentaries. Inspired by his producer to create something that would go outside the limits typically imposed on city stories, Maddin uses this opportunity to create a new genre he called “docu-fantasia”. The story is about “Guy Maddin” (played here by Darcy Fehr) and his attempt to film his way out of Winnipeg. Traveling by train he believes the only way to get out of the frozen wasteland would be to »
- Max Covill
"Art of the Real" is returning to the Film Society of Lincoln Center with a celebration of Agnès Varda (who will attend!) and more:
"The 2015 edition, taking place April 10-26, will again feature dozens of new works from around the world and in a variety of genres alongside retrospective and thematic selections. Opening Night will premiere new works by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata (The Last Time I Saw Macao, Mahjong), Eduardo Williams, and Matt Porterfield (I Used to Be Darker), with all filmmakers attending the evening."
Above: For The Criterion Collection, kogonada's new video essay, "Mirrors of Bergman." Abderrahmane Sissako, the director of Timbuktu, will be heading Cannes' Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury. In his NY Times home video column, J. Hoberman writes on Richard Linklater's Boyhood and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Richard Brody writes about Spike Lee's Da Sweet Blood of »
You describe the Maddin and Panahi well, and we have similar takes on them—but please allow me to digress before I address those films, as I’ve just come out of Jem Cohen’s Counting, and I’d like to take advantage of its freshness in my mind. Organized into 15 chapters, the film more or less documents certain excerpts from the filmmaker’s travels over the past three years. The chapters vary in length and focus, with different headings & descriptions (“New York City, 2012-2014,” “The Millions,” etc.), and taking place in different locations across the globe (Moscow, Porto, Istanbul). Entirely made up of subjective glimpses of these places, the film resembles a diary or travelogue—but in spite of its seeming slightness in its minute pieces, in total it is a perceptive and honest record of the world today. Cohen understands the limitations of the image, of »
- Adam Cook
Kino Lorber has announced the acquisition of all Us rights to Guy Maddin’s (My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World) The Forbidden Room (2015), following the film’s world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
The Forbidden Room was produced by Phi Films, Buffalo Gal Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada (Nfb), with the participation of Telefilm Canada and with the financial investment of Manitoba Film & Music and Sodec.
“I feel fantastic about Richard Lorber and his team handling The Forbidden Room,” wrote director Guy Maddin. “When we first met, before he saw the movie, I felt that rare pleasure of tastes synching up every second moment, but immediately after the screening we connected with wondrous electrified crackles! It was like we were giddily letting this film finish each other’s sentences for us! Our movie instantly galvanized a shared experience. It’s only right, and extremely thrilling, »
- Michelle McCue
There are few things as futile (or daunting) as trying to make sense on paper of a Guy Maddin film. Save for My Winnipeg, which given its relative specificity and coherent narration serving almost as commentary for the flood of images, his films are a tough nut to crack. Yet unlike many films that fall into the general rubric of "avant garde" or "experimental", Maddin's films differ greatly. Firstly, if anything the films are delightfully retrograde rather than at the vanguard, a future/past hybrid that sees echoes of expressionism and early cinema thrust onto modern screens. In lesser hands this would be hipster fetish fodder, no more than an affectation like luxurious beards, bowler hats, and a penchant for shellac recordings on '78. For...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Guy Maddin is an aberration of modern cinema. From his first film "The Dead Father" in 1985 to his latest "The Forbidden Room" (premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival), the Canadian director utilizes the techniques and tones intrinsic to silent films and early talkies while coupling them with scripts that often feel both literary and tawdry. He has a ludic sensibility that may be an acquired taste, but his presence is welcome —even his misfires provide an antidotal experience for anyone burned by the unambitious state of moving pictures. This month, The Criterion Collection released his 2007 film "My Winnipeg," a documentary/memoir/essay on the home he finds impossible to leave. We sat down with the director and spoke with him not just about 'Winnipeg' but about his entire career (his first feature "Tales from the Gimli Hospital," the Toronto International Film Festival-produced short "Heart of the World," German »
- Christopher Bell
Directed by Guy Maddin
Since its release in 2007, a good deal of the conversation surrounding Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg has been how exactly to define the film. Is it, as Maddin himself has dubbed the picture, a “docu-fantasia,” or is that not even accurate? During an interview between Maddin and critic Robert Enright, as part of the newly released Criterion Blu-ray, the two evoke a number of references in hopes of situating the film: Werner Herzog, melodrama, Chris Marker, city symphonies of the silent era, Fellini’s I Vitelloni. Yes, it is like these, but also not quite. An essay by Wayne Koestenbaum, also included with the disc, likewise alludes to everything from Hitchcock and James Joyce to Andy Warhol’s Blow Job and Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah. So what does it say about a film that can draw such parallels, »
- Jeremy Carr
One of our most anticipated Sundance 2015 titles is Guy Maddin's latest foray into avant-weirdness, a cinematic hybrid project the Canadian auteur's been cooking up since his docu-fantasia "My Winnipeg" bowed in 2007. The director's 11th film, "The Forbidden Room" stars a top-drawer Euro cast including Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar & Elina Löwensohn as "a cavalcade of misfits, thieves and lovers, all joined in the joyful delirium of the kaleidoscopic viewing experience," per the press release of this elusive new movie. Made with the help of American poet John Ashbery, who aided in defining modern poetry in the mid-20th century, "Forbidden Room" premieres at Sundance next week before heading to Berlin in February. Below, check out the "living poster" for the film, which apparently »
- Ryan Lattanzio
You certainly can and probably should go home again, at least according to the faux approximation of himself in the 2007 pseudo-documentary/experimental homage My Winnipeg from Canadian auteur Guy Maddin. However, donning nostalgic garb calls for drastic reinvention. A director who has built a painstaking filmography of films imitating silent and lost titles from annals of vintage cinematic eras, his name can both provoke and evoke the emotional state phonetically represented by his surname. But whether one embraces his style or not, there’s no one quite like him.
This year is off to a great start for Maddin, beginning first with his second title to grace the Criterion collection (his 2006 title Brand Upon the Brain! also holds this distinction) as well as the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival of his latest work, the operatic The Forbidden Room (which pays homage to the two-headed Roman god, Janus, looking forwards and backwards simultaneously, »
- Nicholas Bell
The Drop I really liked The Drop and it was a little frustrating Fox Searchlight didn't show much interest in raising the film's awareness after the lukewarm response in Toronto. I think this still could have been a hit of sorts if they had shown a little more enthusiasm, but I guess once it was clear it wasn't going to be an Oscar contender they just figured "what's the usec" Nevertheless, check it out now that it's on DVD and Blu-ray, and for my theatrical review click here.
Lucy Solid movie, fun and certain to be quite enjoyable from the comfort of your own home. I have a Blu-ray copy here and I'm going to check it out a second time... at some point.
- Brad Brevet
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Laika's latest stop-motion film is about a kiddo named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) who is raised by a gaggle of trolls under the streets of Cheesebridge. It got pretty good reviews, as well as an Oscar nomination, and while it hasn't snatched up as many eyes and hearts as "Coraline" or "ParaNorman," it's still a solid kid's movie. The Blu-ray includes audio commentary from directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, as well as a few other extra goodies.
Scarlett Johansson's actioner has been available digitally, but now you can snag it on Blu-ray.
Guy Maddin's wonderfully weird ode to his hometown is finally on Criterion. In addition to your typical Criterion updates -- a high-def digital video transfer, »
- Jenni Miller
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