72- My Winnipeg [1.0]

A goodbye letter and self-described “docu-fantasia” that is equal parts transcendental rumination, historical chronicle, and personal portrait. In the first segment, Maddin’s camera drifts dreamlike through crowded trains as a floating kielbasa hangs from the ceiling and the director/narrator ponders just why the city boasts the most sleepwalkers per capita of any major international city.

Oh boy, I really didn’t enjoy this (and a quick look over at RottenTomatoes shows that I’m very much in the minority). I found My Winnipeg to be incredibly self-indulgent and sophomoric in execution. Guy Maddin is talented with a camera, but the documentary plays out like a bad student film, with title cards quickly flashing and re-stating what the narrator had previously said. Speaking of which, just because you repeat a line multiple times doesn’t make your writing poetry.

I’m all for a filmmaker doing something different and My Winnipeg certainly has that going for it. It’s also a pretentious, self-aware, and unenjoyable piece of filmmaking.

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One response to “72- My Winnipeg [1.0]”

  1. thejamminjabber says :

    Glad to see you back in action, but I’m really gonna have to disagree with you on this one. I loved this film, and it’s my second favorite Madden, behind the amazing “Saddest Music In The World.” If you’ve still got the stomach for it, you should definitely check it out. Much more of a “straightforward” film.

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