293 Great Directors: Guy Maddin

“I’ve never bought that cliché that you should never take people out of the narrative, take people out of that dramatic illusion. I’m more of a person who loves his grandmother. I’m thinking when a grandmother sits at the foot of your bed and tells you a bedtime story, you get absorbed into the story, you notice her style of telling a story. Some parts you should tell badly, other parts charmingly. You’re totally sucked into the story. You’ve been scared, moved, engaged, and then every now and then you notice your grandmother has a dental whistle or a nose hair or that she’s getting pretty wrinkly and that she’s sitting on your foot, and then you go back into the story. I’m one of those filmmakers that likes to show the grandmother.”

Why This Director?
: You can’t hear about a Maddin without wanting to see it.

My Last Experience Was…: The Heart of the World, his astounding short on cinema’s power.

What Did I Watch: My Winnipeg.

Where Does He Fit: Guy Maddin’s aesthetic is one that has been utterly ravaged by time, and even the Blu-Ray of My Winnipeg possesses a certain filthiness to it, a home movie rendered slightly less damaged by being chucked around over the years. For this is purely Maddin’s Winnipeg, where yes, frozen horse heads are absolutely a tourist attraction, fuck anyone who thinks otherwise and more importantly, why would you want to come here if this is the place that possesses such a thing? It is the ultimate anti-advertisement, complete with someone from an Edgar Ulmer film making an appearance among the lunatics after many years far away from the screen, just because the director thought she would have scared Bette Davis. Yet she’s kindly here, doing nothing except helping a suicidal man for ratings and laughs. There is something to love in this frozen wasteland after all, so I guess we should stick around in it.


Most Valuable Asset: His entire aesthetic.
Most Excited For: Everything! There’s not much consensus beyond this being his best.

Coming Up Next: Kelly Reichardt, minimalist.


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