Author Topic: Guy Maddin  (Read 6192 times)

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Ghostboy

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Guy Maddin
« on: August 10, 2003, 11:03:10 PM »
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I just saw 'Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary' this evening. It was great. I really love Guy Maddin's retro style. I haven't seen any of his other films, other than a short piece of 'Gimli Hospital' and a few short works. I think I might pick up the boxed set of his films that Zeitgeist put out -- mainly because I'm dying to see 'Heart Of The World,' the short film he did for the Toronto film festival a few years back (does anyone know of a clandestine location from which I can download it?). Has anyone else seen any of his stuff, and how is it?

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2003, 11:27:12 PM »
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ive only seen his dracula as well. thought it was allright.

THC

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2003, 08:31:26 AM »
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I'v seen a handfull of his films.  They are all along the same sort of lines so if you like one, you'll probably like the others.  I do.  I think because he is so well established now, it works, but when he was a young man, I probably would have thought he was a little pretentious making German Expressionist films.  Oh well.  He's an extremely interesting guy.  I watched a whole special on him on the Canadian IFC.  He paints all of his story boards.  He's not the kind of guy you would expect to be making expressionist films.  

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Gamblour.

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2003, 12:01:08 PM »
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I wish I get the IFC...hopefully I'll get it in my dorm. Anyhow, I saw Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary at the Atlanta Film Festival. This just wasn't my thing. It's a only a little over an hour, I was nearly asleep. I haven't seen the original Dracula, so maybe that could've aided in understanding/liking the movie.

I've only seen a few silent movies, I can actually name them: Metropolis, Birth of a Nation, Man with Movie Camera, and this. Metropolis took me three days to watch because I could not get into it at all. The other two were pretty cool, especially MWMC.
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Ghostboy

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2003, 12:07:19 PM »
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It does help to know the Dracula story, since although it's followed very faithfully, it's also highly compressed. But as for old silent films, they really are wonderful, you just have to be prepared for them. It's a slightly different mindset. One thing you might try doing to keep yourself awake is watching them with an appropriate modern movie score. I watched a lot of German expressionist horror films with the Interview With The Vampire score, and it worked great.

Back to Guy Maddin, though -- I think I'll order that boxed set. He has intrigued me. I heard an interview with him on Fresh Air last month -- his next movie has Mark McKinney from Kids In The Hall and Isabella Rosellini in it.

The Silver Bullet

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2004, 05:42:03 AM »
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The Heart of the World is great. It's like Baz Luhrmann c. 1921.

Meanwhile:

http://www.greencine.com/article?action=view&articleID=118&pageID=223

http://villagevoice.com/issues/0319/maddin.php

Definitely both worth reading.
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matt35mm

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2004, 08:11:16 AM »
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I've recently seen his new film, The Saddest Music in the World, at a festival.  It was pretty good.  It's got Isabella Rosellini as a legless beer baroness during the 1930s or so.  It was shot on Super 8, I think.

Quite.  Interesting.

Sal

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2004, 10:04:25 PM »
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a guy at chud.com just reviewed it and liked it a lot.  He compared it to "Moulin Rouge" but stressed that it was a film which stood in a corner all by itself.  Im intrigued.  I saw "dracula" and enjoyed it.  I think it did some great stuff.

LostEraser

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2004, 06:05:56 AM »
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Dude, this thread should really be in The Directors Chair forum with all the other directors. I was going to create a Guy Maddin thread there but then I saw this one here. lol!

Anyways, I'll be seeing Saddest Music either tomorrow or the next day. I can't wait. I'm a huge Guy Maddin fan. He's probably second right after Lynch as far as my favorite filmmakers currently working. I think The Heart Of The World is 6 of the most perfect minutes of cinema ever. And Dracula: Pages From A Virgins Diary was my favorite film of 2003. Archangel and Careful are his masterpices as far as his feature films go. Some of the most intentive ways of experimenting with cinema and storytelling I've ever come across. But many people I've talked to said Saddest Music is his best feature film now. So I'm very excited. I'll be posting my thoughts on it as soon as I see it.
Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
--Ray Carney, American Vision: The Films Of Frank Capra

LostEraser

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2004, 08:04:16 PM »
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Yay, some one moved it.  :wink:

Well, I finally saw The Saddest Music In The World last night and I loved it. I think all those Guy Maddin fans I talked to may be right. This probably is his best feature film. It has an even better (and the more I think about it, even deeper) script than Careful and I connected with the characters a lot more too. Isabella Rossillini is brilliant as an amputee who decides to hold a contest to find the worlds saddest music. It's hilarious at first and just seems like a great joke but then the more you learn about her character, as well as her ex husband and his two sons, you start to really care about what happnes to them all. It's a great film that takes place in Guy Maddins usual alternate cinema reality that seems to blend different eras of his favorite types of movies. Especially german expressionism. This is a man who loves movies and is inspired by them almost as much as Tarantino.

I think this, Kill Bill 2, and Eternal Sunshine are not only my 3 favorite movies so far this year, but 3 of my favorite movies of all time too. Come to think of it, this is becoming a great year for movies. I can't remember the last time this many great movies came out in the first half of a year. What with those 3, Dogville, The Dreamers and soon Coffee and Cigarettes, Before Sunset, etc. Usually all these great art house movies are saved for the end of the year.
Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
--Ray Carney, American Vision: The Films Of Frank Capra

LostEraser

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2004, 09:25:29 PM »
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Guy Maddin has another feature film out this year that is playing tomorrow at the Los Angeles Film Festival called Cowards Bend The Knee. It's getting really good reviews and some are eve saying that it's better than Saddest Music! They say it's his most autobiographical film. I already bought my ticket and I can't wait to see it. I don't know when this film will be released but hopefully some time this year if it goes over well at LAFF. Though I'm sure it won't be big since Saddest Music was considered his biggest film and that went nowhere. Oh well. I'll let eveyrone know what I think of Cowards Bend The Knee later.
Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
--Ray Carney, American Vision: The Films Of Frank Capra

Two Lane Blacktop

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2005, 04:49:24 PM »
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Anyone here ever seen Maddin's The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity?  It's a short, about 6 minutes I think.  It doesn't get the love that "Heart Of The World" does, but I like it the best of what I've seen of his films (which would be: these two, Careful, and Twilight of the Ice Nymphs).

I really want to see Dracula and The Saddest Music In The World soon, though, as I hear they surpass everything he's done before.

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Guy Maddin
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2005, 05:03:14 PM »
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Here's the page for his newest, The Brand Upon the Brain

http://www.thefilmcompany.org/BUTB.html

There are more pictures here and an interview here.
Enjoy.
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Guy Maddin
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2005, 01:51:48 PM »
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FEATURE - Maddin, Rossellini Make More Music
Filmmaker Guy Maddin and actress Isabella Rosellini's My Dad is 100 Years Old is a lot shorter than their first collaboration. But it is no less of a Toronto triumph. By Pam Grady, FilmStew.com

At first glance, the headline on the front page of Toronto's Sun tabloid - 'Guy and Doll' - said it all. But upon closer inspection, the photo was not of sublime Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin and his current partner in cinematic alchemy, Isabella Rossellini, but rather of Guy Ritchie and his missus, Madonna.

Now, it is true that Ritchie's latest amped up thriller, Revolver, did take a bow at the Toronto International Film Festival. But since it is yet another one of Ritchie's over-caffeinated crime dramas, shouldn't truth in advertising have dictated that the headline read, 'Guy and Moll?'

In truth, the only covers that Maddin, that mad genius of Manitoba, will most likely ever grace are of serious film magazines, even with one of the world's most beautiful women in the frame. Yet had an editor at the Sun experienced some kind of glorious epiphany and put Maddin and Rossellini on the paper's front page, he would only be paying the pair their proper due. Their collaboration, My Dad is 100 Years Old, is a short, only 16 minutes long, but it is one of the best movies to come out of this year's festival. And that is saying something considering that there are some fantastic films here, including Neil Jordan's seductively vivid Breakfast on Pluto, Stephen Frears' amiable but pointed Mrs. Henderson Presents, the offbeat and irresistible mockumentary Brothers of the Head, and Ang Lee's moving cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain.

Written by and starring Rossellini in all of the parts (save one - her father's belly) and directed by Maddin, My Dad is 100 Years Old is a big, fat valentine to the actress' legendary father, Roberto Rossellini. Paired at the festival with his seminal work, 1945's Roma, Citta Aperta (Rome, Open City), the short pays tribute to the neorealist auteur through his daughter's memories and her imagined conversations with her mother, actress Ingrid Bergman, and some of his contemporaries, including Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Chaplin, producer David O. Selznick, and Roberto Rossellini's one time assistant Federico Fellini.

Rossellini himself appears only in photographs and as his daughter remembers him from her earliest years, as a large belly, a playground for his seven children. She theorizes that if her papa had been a fish, he would have been a seahorse, so that he might have given birth.

Much of the movie is framed as a debate pitting her dad's instincts to make his films as realistic as possible ('Probable films,' he calls them, because he is documenting things as they probably happened) against the Hollywood filmmakers' more commercial instincts and Fellini's erotic dreamscapes. It is an often hilarious and always affectionate portrait of a rigorous artist, but also sad, as Isabella wonders nearly 30 years after Roberto's death how well he is remembered and where his legacy stands. Is there anyone left to follow his rigorous example?

At first glance, Maddin - whose own movies are willfully archaic and whose expressionistic, often hallucinatory style Roberto Rossellini would no doubt disapprove of - seems like an odd choice to direct this project. Isabella first met him when she played an embittered, legless beer baroness in his Depression-era musical, 2003's The Saddest Music in the World. She was already casting about for some way to commemorate her dad's 2006 centenary and to renew interest in his work, particularly among the young who may not have even heard of him. She knew their would be a retrospective film series, but she wanted to do something different, as well, and hit on the idea of a movie.

Certainly, she was aware how different Maddin's style is from her father's, but through all her years in the business, she has grown used to that. "I remember always that working later on as an actress or being married to film directors that I would always get slightly nervous when a camera moved or went above the eye level, because I remember my father was so rigid about it," she laughingly tells FilmStew, adding that ex-husband Martin Scorsese was a particularly flagrant violator of Roberto Rossellini's precepts. "'Oh Marty,' I thought, 'Oh that camera movement is totally immoral.'"

But Maddin seemed like the logical director for the project for reasons that went beyond style. "There is a such a nostalgia in his films, in his images. In his films, there is a nostalgia of cinema, and so I thought it was a good marriage," she explains.

Not only that, but through working on Saddest Music, she began to look upon Maddin as something of a mentor, as she observes, "Guy has this incredible gift to make you feel like you could do it, you could write, you could make movies. Everybody else is so precious about their work. It makes you feel like you could never do what they do. That's how it started."

"That's what I've always done with young filmmaker pals. They ask if they should go to film school. Just start making movies. Just get out there," Maddin concurs, but he admits he was 'ludicrously flattered' when Isabella approached him, as well as impressed.

"Isabella had already gone out and written kind of an autobiography," he continues. "And she has her own unique writing voice and that voice was there in the script that she showed me, and I just thought it was such a neat balance of a little girl remembering, a grown woman remembering."

"It something playful; something frankly addressing death, a really nice mixture of things. That's something I've always tried to get into my work and here she got it so effortlessly, just in the way she speaks, just in the way she writes."

Maddin was moved that she wanted to entrust the Rossellini legacy to him, but he admits he also feared letting that legacy down. "I was doubly honored and doubly frightened, but I always work better when I'm frightened, though, so I felt that this was something that no matter how frightened I am of screwing up, I'd better do this."

The different characters worked their way into Isabella's script through her memories. She remembered a letter from Hitchcock she found among her mother's things after Bergman died, in which her Spellbound director berated her for falling in love with Rossellini. She recalls Selznick's admiration for her dad's work, even though it was so different from his own productions.

Fellini was Rossellini's best friend, but the two men would go through periods when they wouldn't speak to one another. "Especially when Fellini did those films - more than about dreams, about sex," Isabella avers. "I think my father was very embarrassed by Fellini's interest in sex. It wasn't Fellini. It was really a generation. Fellini was slightly younger than my dad. After the war, psychoanalysis, dreams, sexuality became things of great interest in the arts in general. Father and those men of his generation were embarrassed by it."

Conventional wisdom at the time Rossellini and Bergman began their storied love affair was that it was the director who ruined the star's career, as they scandalized Hollywood and as Bergman relocated to Europe to work with her new husband. In My Dad is 100 Years Old, the Bergman character insists it was the other way around.

Isabella explains, "All of a sudden [the world] saw this man who had gained a reputation of morality, of doing a film that - because Italy was the enemy, Italy was the fascist, and all of the sudden, he redeemed with his films, the enemy of the world. He made them accept Italians and separate them from their political ideology. All of the sudden he fell in love with my mom, and he was tainted by sex. So, it's true, Mama, in a way, the gossip around their love affair was very destructive, especially for my dad as a serious filmmaker."

Originally, Isabella and Maddin talked about other actors taking on some of the roles, but eventually they came to a realization about the nature of the project. Maddin recalls, "We agreed that since the thing was an expression of love and other thoughts from Isabella, that it made sense that Isabella play them."

Of course, there was one role that svelte Isabella couldn't play and that was her father's belly. She offered the part to Maddin, whose own belly tends toward the plush side, and who admits to a certain regret now in turning it down. He laughs "I was telling Noah Cowan that Isabella was insisting that I play the belly. I'm exaggerating. And he said, 'You turned that down? You could have had on your resume the belly of Roberto Rossellini.'"
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matt35mm

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Re: Guy Maddin
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2006, 09:13:17 PM »
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Dracula was wonderful.  I've become more and more attracted to ballet and intrigued by the possibility of using it extensively in a film, and I liked very much how it was used here.  The combination of the beauty of the dance movements and the haunting quality of silent film just really worked well here.

I will be catching up on Guy Maddin's other films.

 

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