My Winnipeg

Movies Reviews Guy Maddin
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My Winnipeg

Release date: June 13
Director/Writer: Guy Maddin
Cinematographer: Jody Shapiro
Studio/Run Time: IFC Films, 80 mins.

A pleasingly personal history—both metaphoric and civic—of the Canadian capital

In his ninth feature, My Winnipeg, Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin uses his native city in much the same way Michael Moore used Flint, Mich., in Roger & Me (if Moore were offering a requiem for a human soul rather than the American economy).

With the 52-year-old Maddin providing macabre, occasionally snarky narration, the film employs silent-movie cards (“Fear!” to describe a workers’ strike), meditative motifs (“snowy, sleepwalking Winnipeg”) and—most uniquely—a cast of actors recreating Maddin's family in its former home, with his dead father portrayed as a lump under the carpet. “Who gets to vivisect his own childhood?” Maddin ponders, though he leaves himself almost entirely out of the vivisection, with much of the subplot unresolved. My Winnipeg—ostensibly about why Maddin has to leave the city—rarely ventures into what the director was doing while physically there. Nevertheless, it’s a wholly and wonderfully personal piece of filmmaking.

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