Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Winnepeg filmmaker Guy Maddin, true or not. If you’re looking for pure facts, Noam Gonick’s documentary may not be the place for you as even Maddin admits to occasionally B.S.’ing to keep it all interesting.
Made at the time of production for his fourth feature, “Twilight of the Ice Nymphs”, Tom Waits narrates as we review the life and works of Maddin, a Canadian, like David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, whose movies don’t really seem like anyone else’s.
For those unfamiliar with Guy’s oeuvre, our boy has a hard-on for the primitiveness of silent cinema and would appear to have seen no films made after 1928 except for the collective works of Bunuel, Kenneth Anger and Douglas Sirk. “Tales of the Gimli Hospital” and “Archangel” used real historical events, a smallpox epidemic and the site of a battle at the end of WW I, as a launching point for absurd melodramatic comedy told in a very expressionistic style.
Now, you know how your parents become really weird because they never go out anywhere or meet any new people and they just get really eccentric? Picture growing up in the harsh environments (-30 C winters) of an isolated Canadian city and obsessing over German expressionism and ice hockey. We learn that Maddin and his drinking buddies eventually got bored enough to start making their own movies. The rest is absurdity.