My Winnipeg plays at the DIA this weekend (July 11-13)
A love poem to Canadian auteur Guy Maddin’s once-former home, My Winnipeg feels like a fever dream that brings together past, present, and future. Repeated words and phrases form a hypnotic cadence as Maddin’s cinematic stand-in (Darcy Fehr) chugs through the snowy darkness. “Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg,” is the chant, rising and falling like the locomotive drone of the night train carrying its somnambulistic fares through Manitoba’s premiere city.
Winnipeg; heart of the heart of Canada, the place that raised Maddin. With a hockey arena for a father and a hair salon for a mother (for more hockey and hairdressing see Maddin’s earlier Coward Bends The Knee), Maddin explores the structural arteries of his home town and revisits the history of himself and his city. Narrated by the filmmaker, the prose of the film (courtesy of long-time crony George Toles) is an overwrought poem of maniacal hyperbole and enthusiastic linguistic gymnastics; a perfect pitch for the fractured visuals of Maddin’s multimedia pastiche. Looking like a daguerreotype picture postcard of this snowbound wonderland, My Winnipeg typifies Maddin’s mad genius and captures his sordid relationship with his home.