My Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg. “We Winnipegers are so stupefied with Nostalgia.” Their stupefication turns them into sleepwalkers. There are so many of them that they made a law: If, due to the power of their deep spiritual kinship, they turn up at night in their old homes, the new inhabitants must take them in. My Winnipeg is a sleepwalking dream: While working on this autobiography, which is like the biography of every snowed-in place in the Canadian province of Manitoba (“a city just 4 years older than my grandmother”), Maddin found himself once again in his childhood home. Actors pose as brothers, sisters, and the family dog in the living room. In the background is the mother like a living picture. The current inhabitant, an elderly woman, doesn’t move from her armchair. If you travel into the past in Winnipeg, you can’t shake the aged present. We know the passive-aggressive mother already from “Brand Upon the Brain!” In that film she exerted her control using a giant telescope, here she gazes (in kingsize) scrutinizingly into the window of the Canadian railway, as Winnipeg is the crosspoint. Guy Maddin’s new film solidifies the idea that, looking at the totality of his work, we can speak of a Maddinesque genre: profound, unsettling, and as such primally cinematic.
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
by Guy Maddin Canada 2007 79’

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