My Winnipeg | Chicago Reader

My Winnipeg

80 minutes 2007

It was just a matter of time before the eccentric independent Guy Maddin made a personal documentary about his Canadian hometown, and though he labels this a “docu-fantasia,” one still suspects he's captured the real character of Winnipeg, especially its freezing weather. The movie (2007) is dominated by Maddin's usual black-and-white photography, silent-movie syntax, and deadpan melodrama; he even casts Ann Savage, who starred in Edgar G. Ulmer's classic B movie Detour, as his own mother (her dialogue is credited to Maddin's usual cowriter, George Toles). In the narration Maddin claims that Winnipeg has ten times as many sleepwalkers as any other city in the world, and though he's surely making this up, it conveys his own sense of entrapment amid the town's dreaminess.

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