Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Winnipeg

This is my first Guy Maddin film and gee, it was an incredible voyage into the most crazy stories done in a visually astonish way that could make some feel dizzy but I was like hypnotized especially in the first half that totally blew my mind as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the screen with all the possible cinema techniques being exposed, superimposed and some distorted to accommodate what it looks like a great surreal nightmarish voyage into the head and memories of Guy Maddin.

While watching the film I asked myself how much of what I’m seeing is true (aside of his own family stories) and it was no surprise to find out that some of his stories are fiction that became mythologized in his phantasmagoric and dream alike film where you will laugh at some hilarious moments, feel sad at others, rise a brow at moments and most of all when is over you want more of the good stuff.

I really enjoyed most stories but had a hard time with all the time he spend in his lyrical and allegorical reference to ice hockey, this was a segment that I personally would like to be shorter, but then what is a Canadian film without long references to ice hockey? Still, stories are totally engaging and visually is more than superb as filmed in black and white integrates old footage, home movies, fantastic shadow animation, recreations with actors, some color scenes, and according to his words, all that he filmed was done with Super 16, 16, Super 8, miniDV video and HD video; its an amazing display of technological specifications! But most important is that the end product is excellent.

My first impression was to relate it to experimental cinema; but no, that will be to constrain a film to genre and this film has many genres implicit in its wordy and visual narrative. But definitively the closest genre has to be very entertaining and irreverent experimental cinema.

Paraphrasing many articles that I read, the best way that I found to describe the film is to imagine that the city fathers commissioned a documentary to be done by “the mad poet of Manitoba” and that’s how this amazing film was born, out of outstanding lucidity of a truly lyrical and mad poet. Bravo!

Perhaps some of you after watching the film or docufantasia as Maddin calls it, would like to read an interview with the director where he talks about many interesting aspects related to the production and his intentions, and if you do go here.

The film has been around the festival circuit where won the Best Canadian Feature Film award at the 2007 Toronto fest, Best Fiction Film at the 2008 Cinema fest of Uruguay and was in competition at the 2008 Sydney Film Festival.

The natural target for this film has to be serious cinema lovers, but this time I’m going to open the target to include everyone, as this film is such an incredible experience that many have to enjoy it or at least give it a try and perhaps many would not be disappointed by meeting Guy Maddin in what has been called his best work.

Definitively a must be seen for many that dare to watch this lucid and crazy film!


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