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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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.
Filmmaker Guy Maddin was born, raised and has always lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a town where he says everyone sleepwalks through life. He is trying to escape Winnipeg, but isn't sure how as he isn't sure what's kept him there in the first place. Perhaps his parent's month long 65th wedding anniversary celebration (despite his father being dead for some years) where he will reenact his childhood (with actors playing his family, except his mother who plays herself) in the old family home at 800 Ellis Avenue, which was above the family's hair salon business, will provide some answers. He recounts some civic events which have affected him and the life of Winnipegers: the 1919 general strike, the destruction of the Wolseley Elm in 1957, and the replacement of the iconic Eaton's building for the new hockey arena in favor of the old Winnipeg Arena. The latter has an especially close connection to him because of a family tie and the rich history of hockey in the city (discounting what he ...Written by
Screened with live director-narration at the Sydney Film Festival, My Winnepeg was not always easy to engage with but was, ultimately, one of the most satisfying filmic experiences of the Festival fortnight to-date.
Mixing surreal, dreamlike images with heartfelt reminiscents, Guy Maddin created extraordinary cinema that will linger long in the memory of all that witnessed it.
The first 20 minutes are the toughest slog - it takes a little while to comprehend exactly the direction this loving-yet-satirical homage to Maddin's home town is trying to accomplish. And I also have reservations as to how this is going to play to audiences without the immediate, personal engagement the live-narration provides - the connection the on-stage presence provided made for an intimacy that may not be otherwise available.
But, with no reservation, the dreamlike images, coupled with the heartfelt words of the creator, made for a unique, beautiful, hilarious, moving experience. This is a major work from an extraordinary talent; a must-see for those that crave films that engage the head and the heart.
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