Guy Maddin’s Cowards Bend the Knee

Guy Maddin’s been talked about on the blog here , and michael at least had talked about getting some of his movies over Netflix, which hopefully he has. This one was made the same year as his amputee beer baron with glass legs (and Kids in the Hall) epic Saddest Music in the World. It only recently came out on DVD.

I believe that most of it was part of an art installation Maddin did where parts of the ten chapters were viewed by individuals looking through peepholes. Here, each chapter is silent, black and white, about 6 minutes long, and with a jittery editing that makes it feel like you’re hand-cranking the film along backwards and forwards to re-watch little bits over and over again

It involves hockey, abortion clinics/hair salons/brothels, murderous hand transplants, wax museums, ghosts, the Soviet Union, male and female nudity and a kind of tribute to Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks that really I don’t think anyone expected to see.

It’s certianly on the other side of the Maddin spectrum compared to Saddest Music. No theater would ever show this, except as part of a Maddin tribute, and even then only late at night. That said, it’s just great. It’s a movie for people who love movies. Hopefully some of you can make room on your little Netflix list for this gem. The DVD has some cool bonus stuff as well including clips from a uncompleted film that was destroyed in an arson fire and material from his forthcoming feature.

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Mark Mauer likes movies cuz the pictures move, and the screen talks like it's people. He once watched Tales from the Gilmli Hostpial three times in a single night, and is amazed DeNiro made good movies throughout the 80s, only to screw it all up in the 90s and beyond. He has met both Udo Kier and Werner Herzog, and he knows an Irishman who can quote at length from the autobiography of Klaus Kinksi.

One thought on “Guy Maddin’s Cowards Bend the Knee”

  1. I never got the chance to do my little maddin festival. partly because I have so much B-movie mayhem to get through, partly because it takes me forever to watch one of those little discs. I can only take in so much narrative these days.

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