comment

The third feature of wild and weird Guy Maddin (Tales From the Gimli Hospital, Archangel), the brilliant independent Canadian filmmaker based in Winnipeg whose poker-faced period extravaganzas all suggest early, scratchy talkies. This 1992 film is his first in color, which means subdued pastels in some spots and lush tinting of black-and-white footage in others. Set in a remote alpine village where everyone speaks in whispers to avoid setting off avalanches, and where other everyday repressions result in diverse cases of deranged incestuous lust, the outrageous story seems characteristic of Maddin in its dual nature: in part a hilarious satire about Canadian timidity, it also comes across periodically as a formalist gem about nothing at all. The ably somnambulistic cast includes Australian director Paul Cox and Canadian character actor Jackie Burroughs, along with Sarah Neville, Brent Neale, and Victor Cowie in prominent parts; film academic George Toles (who also worked on Archangel) assisted Maddin on the script. If you like the early work of David Lynch you should definitely check this out; Maddin's films are every bit as beautiful and in certain respects a lot more sophisticated. 100 min. Music Box, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29.

Add a comment