Friday, April 22, 2005

Woah. The Saddest Music in the World completely blindsided me. I’ll admit that I knew virtually nothing about Guy Maddin prior to this festival except that he made this film. I didn’t know what it was about or what it was like. Normally, I’m not into films or filmmakers that are unabashedly rooted in very specific styles of cinema’s past but this one completely won me over. Maddin doesn’t make referencing his idols the point of making his movies. There are very many modern conventions used in the film. He melds the old and the new into something seamless and original. It’s interesting that Maddin didn’t even take to filmmaking until age thirty. As he said himself, he was only a mediocre college student and didn’t really do much in his twenties except work at a bank, paint houses, and generally slack off. I guess that’s why he seems so down to earth. He’s not coming into it with this attitude that it was his destiny. Rather, he’s just a dude who likes movies and decided one day to make one.

What was really interesting was watching this film back to back with Murderball. In The Saddest Music in the World, Isabella Rossellini plays a quadriplegic who lost her legs in a bizarre accident. I asked Guy Maddin if he himself found it the pairing peculiar. He said that he was a little nervous after experiencing the very human story that is Murderball that people would find the quirkiness of his film suddenly insensitive. The same possibility crossed my mind while watching the film but I never found it the least insensitive. The films in fact complemented each other quite well.

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