Rewatch. No doubt this is a feat of creation, a memory memoir, self-described docu-fantasia (which looks exactly like that sounds, as if dreams could be filmed). Now less caught up in the visual aura I wonder if the forks lead out of the fog, if the mythologising and self-exploration actualise to a meaningful examination of self in the same way it does place. But then again, to listen to Maddin talk all day...
I didn’t realize going into this that it was my 2nd time seeing it. The memories from my 1st time were mis-filed as my own half-remembered dreams and hypnogogic scraps. I genuinely thought parts of it were dreams I had had. It was kind of terrifying to rewatch . . . This is the magic of film, this is the medium given life. No CGI, no squibs, no choreographed violence and gasoline-fueled machines, no genre, just art.
Travel documentary as dreamscape from another galaxy, a horror film of a hometown narrative filled with sleepwalkers trying to wake up and escape the dark Maddin-minded madness of a city replete with scary ghosts (and orgy-like seances), sexual eccentricities, horses heads in ice, and a psychic mother reading your every thought. Maddin's use of silent-film devices provides the necessary distance from this crazy town.
I can get tired of how obsessive and circumscribed Maddin's vision is. Here, the obsessive quality spills out into new areas and it feels invigorating. Rather than an expressionistic rummaging through film history, this fluid mix of fact and fiction about Winnipeg history works like both a tone poem and documentary. Contemporary shots and archival photos complement the staged pieces well. Insightful and rewatchable.
Rewatched tonight @ TIFF, accompanied by Guy Maddin doing a live read of the narration. My memory's honestly terrible, so it struck me how many scenes my brain had actually stored intact as iconograhy: the ballet seance; the horse heads; the Black Tuesdays in a half-demolished rink.. Like Herzog's Antarctica doc, in that way. Not my favourite Maddin but it really did take root in me. Which was his goal, I think. 3.75
> Un imposant et foisonnant kaléidoscope d'histoires vécues, sublimées, narrées, dans une hyperbolique et vertigineuse construction cinématographique, avec ses reconstitutions jouées, ses images et photos d'archives, ses séquences d'animation et sa puissante et touchante poésie élégiaque font de cette œuvre hautement cathartique, un inoubliable moment de cinéma, intelligent, sensible et percutant.. www.cinefiches.com
Soumis aux facéties de "Maddin le guedin", le style documentaire ne tarde guère à en perdre son latin... L'expert de l'imagerie pseudo-années 20 et du montage pseudo-einsensteinien a concocté une balade temporelle somnambulique, où la véracité des images d'archives sombre corps et âme dans les aberrations les plus drolatiques. Un hommage absurde et touchant (mais parfois trop saturé) à Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg...
Uncovers the leylines of the heart! The lap! The forks! Mother! At once an earnest reflection upon one man's mother issues and an aggressive trolling of the Winnipeg Tourist Board. Psychogeography at its most psycho- sexual; neurotic; therapeutic. I can't remember ever having so much fun being lied to.
I'd say that this was in the same general category as Tarkovsky's Mirror. Except there are no floating ladies or houses on fire. It's poetry, but with that marvelous Canadian sense of humor and sensibility. I just love the dreamy imagery which works so well with the theme of sleepwalking. I relate to his story, and I feel like I could watch it again.