Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg by Darren Wershler

By Darren Wershler

Guy Maddin is Canada's such a lot iconoclastic filmmaker. via his reinvention of half-forgotten movie genres, his remobilization of deserted ideas from the early heritage of cinema, and his particular modifying kind, Maddin has created a significantly winning physique of labor that appears like not anything else in Canadian movie. My Winnipeg (2008), which Roger Ebert referred to as one of many ten most sensible movies of the 1st decade of the twenty-first century, has consolidated Maddin's foreign reputation.

In this 6th quantity of the Canadian Cinema sequence, Darren Wershler argues that Maddin's use of strategies and media that fall outdoor of the traditional repertoire of up to date cinema require us to re-evaluate what we expect we all know concerning the documentary style or even 'film' itself. via an exploration of My Winnipeg's significant thematic issues - reminiscence, the cultural archive, and the way humans and items stream in the course of the area of town - Wershler contends that the result's a movie that's psychologically and affectively precise with out being traditionally accurate.

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Because the real star of My Winnipeg is the city, casting was not a long or complicated procedure. Many of the smaller roles in the film were played by Maddin regulars, notably the following. Louis Negin (Mayor Cornish) wrote the narration for Brand Upon the Brain! and appeared as Dr. Fusi in Cowards Bend the Knee and as the Blind Seer in The Saddest Music in the World as well as in larger roles in Maddin’s short films Sissy Boy Slap Party (2004) and Glorious (2008). Amy Stewart (Janet Maddin) was also Veronica in Cowards Bend the Knee.

41 GUY MADDIN’S MY WINNIPEG Once Maddin had some working notes for a treatment, he began to construct a screenplay by recording improvisations, because the idea of sitting down and writing eighty minutes of script seemed too daunting. ’18 Maddin began the process by working with his long-time friend, the journalist Robert Enright, who conducted a series of interviews with the director with the intention of bringing some interesting material to light. Despite Maddin’s belief that Enright has always been the best at drawing him out in conversation, he felt that there was no spontaneity to the material that this process generated, and in the end he used only a few lines of it.

51 4 A Glorious Dress-up Chest: Genre I wasn’t literally trying to go through film history, but I did sort of want to touch on as many outré genres, genres that had fallen out of fashion, as possible. – Guy Maddin to William Beard1 When mulling over the relationship that Guy Maddin’s films bear to existing genres, one of the most common strategies critics use is to treat them as sui generis. 2 Some versions of the posters and other promotional materials created for My Winnipeg, which bear the subtitle ‘A Docu-fantasia by Guy Maddin,’ seem to assent to this notion by coining an entirely new portmanteau word to describe it.

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