Hayley Inch, film programmer and writer, joins the Hyphenates for October 2014 as we look back at the month’s key releases, discuss the films of French auteur Jacques Tati, and delve into the unique works of Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin.
Want to be knowledgeable about our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: a suggested double that will make you an insta-expert in the director we’re about to discuss…
THE HEART OF THE WORLD (2000) and MY WINNIPEG (2007)
Guy Maddin has a style unlike any other filmmaker working today. Imagine an MTV music video director got sent back in time to the silent era, and you’ll have a good starting point to appreciate what it is he does. He is even more prolific as a director of short films than as a director of feature films, so we suggest a double that mixes the two. The Heart of the World is only six minutes long, but it’s the perfect film if you want to understand what makes Maddin tick. Meanwhile, his 2007 quasi-documentary My Winnipeg is an hilarious, surreal, addictive look back at his upbringing. It’s one of the most entertaining films you’ll ever see, and its moments of obvious exaggeration are as revealing as the moments of autobiographical truth. This is about as fun as homework gets.
Substitutions: If you can’t get The Heart of the World, try his first ever short film The Dead Father (1985). If you can’t get My Winnipeg, try Brand Upon the Brain! (2006).
The Hidden Gem: If you want to go for something off the trodden path, be sure to seek out Maddin’s 2002 film Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary. It’s one of the most incredible adaptations of the legend, and at only 73 minutes, you’ll probably want to watch it twice.
The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Hayley Inch talking Guy Maddin, will be released on the morning of October 31 (AEST).