My Winnipeg (Maddin, 2007)

Guy Maddin is a singular filmmaker, whose vision is his and his only. You can’t say that about many filmmakers, but it applies unconditionally to Maddin. Every film he makes is truly like no other: surreal, semi-comprehensible dreamscapes dashed of visual clarity, always interspersed with quick flashes of text and shot with spasmodic abandon (and even that doesn’t quite do his vision justice). But most of all, Maddin’s films are awash in a comic luminosity: they’re made to make you laugh, either out of absurdity or sheer cheek. My Winnipeg is a resplendent mix of both, as Maddin takes on the mythology of his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, unearthing its dustiest secrets (and embellishing some of the truth, too) while coming face-to-face with his own personal history.

The result is bizarre, entrancing, poignant and funny as hell in several spots—exactly what I was expecting, after having already seen The Forbidden Room and Keyhole. A lot of good shit here, and I can’t decide which one is the best: LedgeMan; the frozen horse heads; Ann Savage; Lorette Avenue; the rants about the demolition of historical landmarks… just so, so fun. You may not come out of it knowing as much about Winnipeg and Maddin as you would have expected, but this is the kind of playfulness that I wish I saw more of.

Star_rating_4_of_5

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