In a house haunted with memories, gangster and father Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) arrives home after a long absence towing the body of a teenaged girl and a bound and gagged young man. His gang waits inside his house, having shot their way past police. There is friction in the ranks. Ulysses, however, is focused on one thing: journeying through the house, room by room, and reaching his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) in her bedroom upstairs. His odyssey eventually becomes an emotional tour, as the strange nooks and crannies of the house reveal more about the mysterious Pick family.Written by
Angels in America (aka Layline)
From the album "Allergic to Latex"
By Moppy Pont and Merv Glisten See more »
Guy Maddin does a gangster movie
The first thing I noticed watching Keyhole was that Maddin's cinematography seemed flatter than usual. I love the grainy, high-contrast black-and-white look of his other films, so it was disappointing to me that he moved to digital. The grain is gone and the shadows aren't nearly as deep--and if there's one thing a Maddin movie needs, it's deep shadows. Then again, I don't remember noticing anything "off" about The Forbidden Room, which according to Wikipedia was also shot digitally, so maybe the technology just needed to improve, or Maddin needed to get better acquainted with it.
Anyhow. The movie itself is decent. I would call it a lesser effort by Maddin. Thematically it shares much in common with Brand Upon the Brain! in terms of returning to an old domicile and being haunted by its memories. Brand is a superior film. Stylistically there's nothing really new here. I would have been interested to see Maddin attempt more action, in keeping with the gangster motif, but apart from a shootout at the beginning there isn't much. There's enough good stuff to make the film worth watching, though. Maddin fans ought to find it satisfying, if not innovative.
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