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.