The art direction in this is absolutely fantastic! Just gorgeous to watch. Much like the other Maddin film I've seen I loved the staged feel to it. The entire thing felt like it was written and designed by an 8 year old girl, and I mean that as one of the highest of compliments! I also really loved the world that Maddin set up and I wish the film was longer so I could have spent more time in it. Wonderful!
An atmospheric and beautifully designed film with many references to art history and literature; but I found John McCulloch's score with it's nearly permanent musical underscoring (also containing many references e.g. to Prokofiev) far too distracting.
Guy Maddin's and George Toles' Icelandic Fairy Tale about heartbreak and self mutilation is kind of the perfect episode of Shelley Duvall's Fairy Tale Theater, except that it doesn't come from Andersen, Perrault or Grimm (Hamsun's Pan is said to be one source et l'autre: La Vénus d'Ille de Prosper Mérimée.) It is also a great tribute to Symbolist and Decadent Art and perversity in general in all its set bound beauty.
It must be deliberate. Like the Nausicaa chapter in Ulysses. A stylistic confection. I prefer it to the Princess Bride; at least you're not apparently ruining someone's childhood to laugh at it in a bad way.