Favorite New Films: My Winnipeg

posted by The Joe

I’m not a huge fan of Guy Maddin. While it’s great that someone out there is still making films in the expressionistic silent film style, I’ve never felt his work has had much soul. But now Maddin’s turned completely inward for his self-described ‘docu-fantasia’ My Winnipeg, a blending of fact and fiction that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking.

The film is told through strung-together tangential thoughts as Maddin tries to leave his hometown of Winnipeg by train, haunted by the city and his past as he does so. In order to grasp a greater understanding of what’s led him to this point, Maddin hires a fake family to reenact pivotal moments of his childhood. Mixed in with these are stories of Winnipeg itself that range from truth to local myth to outright, whimsical lies.

This could easily be seen as a comedy of sorts, but the film’s deeper layers show when Maddin rants and raves about what has happened to the city he’s known all his life. Old buildings steeped in memory are closed and torn down, building up a new Winnipeg devoid of the personality now only faintly remembered through his tales. It’s a feeling all too familiar in this modern world where history means nothing to booming consumer culture, and Maddin attempts to grasp onto what was lost and what it all meant.

My Winnipeg – Trailer

Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 5:55 pm