Friday, June 20, 2008

My ladybug, My Winnipeg

My tomatoes, which were pictured below in yesterday’s post, are water-hogs. The pot’s small; in fact, it’s a wooden box I found on the sidewalk, so it necessitates careful monitoring. I leave off watering, and after an afternoon of hot direct sun, they are looking like something the cat dragged in three days ago. Watering them this morning, I saw this lady beetle in the found window box next to them; she was good enough to pose.
Last night, I saw Guy Maddin’s latest film My Winnipeg, which is playing at the IFC. Go immediately. Of course, if you don’t know his work and are expecting the usual “independent” film cliches, forget it. It will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There are echoes of German Expressionism and the lightning bolt that was early Soviet cinema, but these are just components of his language. In this one, which he calls a docu-fantasia, he takes us to wonderful, wonderful Winnipeg and tries to explain why he can’t get away from the place, which he claims has more somnambulists than anywhere else in the world. He was born there, which may go towards explaining the hockey motif that shows up in his work, and in a coup de theater has Ann Savage, a old film noir moll with Manitoba-ice-blonde hair, play his “mother” as the wicked witch of the north. Many a sophisticate thinks the prairies lack magic, and that the Canadian Prairies are the ne plus ultra of square. O my no, not when a prairie surrealist, a very northern magic realist, a man who’s mother’s milk was the silent film that died long before he was born, casts his eyes upon it. The frozen horses heads in the frozen river, the Nazi invasion, the only television show ever produced in Winnipeg (in which a son goes out on a ledge every episode to threaten suicide only to be talked back in by his mother), the blasphemy of destroying a temple of hockey for more luxury boxes… the real and the imagined blend together in an often hilarious, sometimes eerie, frequently erotic, symphony of a city, a city of the imagination.

Maddin is my favorite living filmmaker (sorry, Werner). Last year I saw Brand on the Brain, which I loved, and the short My Dad is 100 Years Old (in which Isabella Rossellini talks about her father Roberto, who is portrayed by a great big belly, while playing every other role). The six-minute-or-so Heart of the World remains the most invigorating movie I’ve seen in years.

1 comment:

apt pupil said...

I went and saw Mister Lonely at IFC the other day when I really wanted to see this. Wish I'd seen this.