Directed by Guy Maddin
Screening at from August 8th
Two films showing at Fact this week are both documentaries but anyone
hoping to see something along the lines of Louis Theroux will be sorely
disappointed. I was not.
The first, My Winnipeg, is Guy Maddin’s homage (or maybe paean)
to his hometown. The film plays out like a fevered dream as our director
seeks to put to rest the memories and ghosts that remain with him from
growing up in what seems like the oddest town on the planet. Maddin’s
voice narrates the various childhood stories and weird trivia about Winnipeg
that compete for our attention with a rapid editing style, images superimposed
upon one another, animated sequences and a cluttered soundtrack. But such
techniques serve to create what Maddin believes to be the essence of Winnipeg.
The city is apparently a somnambulist’s paradise, a place that never
quite leaves winter or twilight behind, where hazy images from the town
and the director’s own past collide with the real.
Maddin is more concerned with tackling big subjects of memory, myth and
the role of the artist than simply documenting the history of one town.
In fact it doesn’t even matter if any of the stories are true as
the director plays fast and loose with our perception of reality, hilariously
recreating events from the past and using techniques that recreate the
feel of old newsreel footage.
Just as ‘everything in Winnipeg is a euphemism’, according
to Maddin, so too is this film a euphemism for his personal journey through
the psyche. Guy Maddin brilliantly manages to create a hilarious and haunting
depiction of the love hate relationship many of us have with our hometown
and as much as we might want to escape from it, it will always be apart