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250 Ratings

Cowards Bend the Knee or The Blue Hands

Directed by Guy Maddin
Canada, 2003
Drama, Comedy, Avant-Garde


It’s time for hockey! There’s no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons’ own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her hairdresser/abortionist mother Liliom.

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Cowards Bend the Knee or The Blue Hands Directed by Guy Maddin
Cowards Bend the Knee might be [Maddin’s] masterwork. It feels like a signpost work, a summary of Maddin’s techniques and obsessions… Filmmakers will want to see Cowards twice just to appreciate its cutting. Maddin and his adventurous editor, John Gurdebeke, see past mere continuity and embrace editing’s poetic and descriptive potential. The result is a movie that seems truly alive, one that appears to ripple through its own contents like a dreaming mind considering itself.
September 19, 2011
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Guy Maddin’s Cowards Bend the Knee is a deliriously over-the-top blend of operatic melodrama, recycled Greek tragedy, motifs pilfered from film noir, and silent-film conventions… Combining earnestness and deadpan humor with seemingly effortless flair is definitely one of Maddin achievements.
November 01, 2004
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Cowards Bend the Knee is hardcore Maddin… Although the layered, metaphoric combination of masochistic fantasy and blatant wish fulfillment that constitutes the movie’s narrative is irresistible, Maddin’s mise-en-scène is no less remarkable than his evocation of forbidden desire and monstrous repression.
August 17, 2004
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