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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2008-06-17 - 12:16 p.m.

This is Guy Maddin...

Guy Maddin Q&A 2

....but what you can't see, cuz that audience member's head obscures it, is the umbrella that he was clutching during his entire post-screening Q&A at the IFC Center.

It wasn't a meaningless prop, it really was raining cats-and-jammers on Saturday, but it seemed in character for him to be holding something that indicated that he just wandered in off the street, didn't really mean to bother anyone, but hey, now that he's here, maybe he can answer some questions about his latest film.

I really, really enjoyed My Winnipeg, but I am at a loss to find the correct superlative. It's his most accessible film, but it's still unsettling and off-putting, and it is his funniest film, but it's not a "comedy," and it is his most autobiographical film, and yet it's surreal and full of fantasy. It is also his most emotionally touching film, but it ain't exactly a date movie.

There is something about Maddin's over-the-top campiness that is the very opposite of detached irony--I find his movies endearing and creepily sweet, and this one especially aims for a personal revelation that is so earnest it needs to be expressed indirectly, in a dream-like narrative.

There is one scene in particular, of "Guy's mother" interrogating "Guy's sister" about an accident that she's had with the family car, that makes clear, nightmare-logic emotional sense, and will resonate with anyone with less-than-perfect parents, even though on the surface the scene plays as darkly surreal.

It also features some beautiful footage of snow. There should be more films about snow. Even though the pervading motif is being trapped in a world that ya never made, and even though I hate winter, it made me want to visit Winnipeg.

And here are some more snaps of the lovely IFC Center...

The purty walls...

IFC splendor

...the interesting ceiling...

IFC ceiling

And just around the corner this gothic purview...


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