Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Since Careful in 1992, NZIFF audiences have reeled in amazement as Canadian Guy Maddin constructed psychic delirium from a welter of narrative scraps from bygone films – that is, ‘films’ that he’s fabricated himself, with a fetishist’s attention to vanished technologies and archaic film styles. This time he’s working with co-director Evan Johnson to yield a magnum opus of melodramatic scenarios, dizzying in its nutty grandeur.
“The new feature spits out serial-style adventures in spasmodic fragments: a stranded submarine crew must rely on air bubbles in their breakfast flapjacks for oxygen; a lumberjack goes on a quest to rescue a maiden from a pack of wild wolf men; a woman holds her own inner child at gunpoint; a man has a lobotomy in order to cure himself of a paralyzing obsession with bottoms; and a mustache induces melancholic memories.
The directors’ imaginations prove bottomless: there’s also a skeleton orgy, a bone-breaking orgasm, and an absurd educational video on how to take a bath… As is the case with most of Maddin’s work, lust, shame, and fetishism abound as the film navigates the nether regions of the human body and psyche with playfully archaic euphemism. The 58-year-old filmmaker has assembled his best cast in years to bring these ludicrous narrative nuggets to life. Fans will be equally pleased to find familiar stock players like Negin and new-to-Maddin heavyweights like Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, and Elina Lowensohn [not to mention Udo Kier and Geraldine Chaplin] utterly at home in his singular world.” — Emma Myers, Film Comment