By William Beard
Guy Maddin begun making movies in his again backyard and on his kitchen desk. Now his distinctive paintings, which is based seriously on such archaic potential as black and white small-format cinematography and silent-film storytelling, premieres at significant movie fairs world wide and is avidly mentioned within the serious press. Into the Past offers a whole and systematic serious remark on each one of Maddin's characteristic movies and shorts, from his 1986 debut movie The useless Father via to his hugely winning 2008 full-length 'docu-fantasia' My Winnipeg.
William Beard's huge research of Maddin's narrative and aesthetic innovations, issues, impacts, and underlying concerns additionally examines the origins and construction heritage of every movie. each one of Maddin's initiatives and collaborations show off his sluggish evolution as a filmmaker and his singular improvement of narrative types. Beard's shut readings of those motion pictures remove darkness from, between different issues, the profound ways that Maddin's artwork is based some time past - either within the cultural previous, and in his own memory.
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Additional resources for Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin
To begin ... Again we see The Dead Father’s company credit card – Extra Large Productions, the steamship Lockport plowing out from behind proscenium theatre curtains, with the Roman-numeralled date and the foghorn on the soundtrack. Then comes the movie’s title card, ‘tales from the gimli hospital’ in archaic letters over a photo, lit from either side in strong chiaroscuro against a black background, of a female ﬁgure in outline. A strip of gauze is also seen in arabesque to the right. ) over medium 28 Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin Credit screen for Tales from the Gimli Hospital.
The commonplace and the traumatic sit side by side (indeed literally so in most of the Father’s scenes), exerting their equal and opposite pulls in a relation that may be classically surreal or textbook postmodern, but whose tone and presentation are quite unique. The images in The Dead Father are without the severe processing or ‘degradation’ that Maddin would usually subject his photography to in his later ﬁlms. Indeed, it is fascinating to see how the uninﬂected documentary ordinariness of many of the sequences does nothing to interfere with the strangeness of the ﬁlm’s project (the reverse, if anything) – prompting speculations as to what might pop up in Maddin’s cinema if he were to revert to this unbombarded naturalness of representation.
The Norse Eddas and Viking history have an authentically mythic resonance; Icelandic migration to Manitoba in the nineteenth century can perhaps claim some small element of heroic pioneer saga-narrative, but nothing approaching the millenniaold grandeur of Norse myth. And yet it is the language and posture of Norse mythology that is echoed in Icelandic-Canadian ethnic cultural celebration, and repeatedly invoked throughout the ﬁlm. In his DVD commentary, Maddin describes present-day Gimli: Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, about an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg, capital of Manitoba, is, by the 20th century, a little, touristy town, vaguely Icelandic heritage, population 2,000 – but around 1874 was a ludicrously primitive Icelandic-Canadian ﬁshing settlement ...
Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin by William Beard