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My Winnipeg / Mon Winnipeg (Bilingual)

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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My Winnipeg / Mon Winnipeg (Bilingual) + Quintessential Guy Maddin [Import]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winnipeg with a wow factor July 13 2009
This film had me entranced for its entire duration and I found it both intellectually and artistically very challenging and refreshingly innovative in a number of ways: its amazing and energetic use of images, its seemless blending of archive and new film in black and white, the hypnotic and rythmic combination of acoustics, voices and music, the energy and pace of images and stark yet versatile use of characters, its use of interfaces, the historical flashbacks and linking and the slow personal revelations of the narrator. But most of all, it is something highly Canadian, intensely personal and such psychological, emotional and cultural complexity is actually realised in a dynamic and exciting visual and acoustic journey that makes the viewer feel, hear, see and experience so many wonderful things in the narrator's mind. I loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what happens . . . May 5 2010
when you transgender a documentary. Grammatically, 'transgender' isn't a verb, but then My Winnipeg isn't technically a documentary. It is sui generis. Not really, since it fits in with the rest of Guy Maddin's stuff. So is My Winnipeg a plaintive cry from the heart for a lost innocence? Or is the last shout before leaving town for Southern California? Both.

Enjoy it. If you can obtain it. It's hard to get in the States. Thank you Canadian relatives. Your health care system is less insane than in the U.S. But Guy Maddin is more insane than Michael Moore. Are you winning on both counts?
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true or false, it's still a great film Oct. 28 2008
Amazing! This docu-fantasia, auto-documentary perfectly captures the subconscious of it's director/subject in all it's poetry. Time, place, memory, and submerged desire meld into a rich cinematically original experience requiring a different interpretive strategy as it defies genre classification. Poetic, hilarious, and truly genius, I highly recommended this film.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Maddin's most personal film July 10 2009
By S. Boone - Published on Amazon.com
This is perhaps Maddin's most personal film, although I've seen pretty much all his output and it's rather hard to say what may be his personal life and what may be his twisted versions of it. In this, he returns to the city of Winnipeg, where he grew up, and hires actors to play his brothers & sisters, and returns to the apartment where they lived (although things are a bit awkward, since the current tenant refuses to move out). His real mother is there, and while his father is deceased, they pretend to have exhumed his body and reburied it in the living room..!? Anyway, the whole films is Maddin's odd reminiscences and it comes off as kind of a dreamy travelogue through the strange history and locations in Winnipeg. Most memorable is the great stable disaster when a fire caused horses to stampede and jump into the river, where they froze to death. We're treated to couples strolling amongst the frozen anguished horseheads, like it was a beautiful picnic spot or something.

I'm really surprised this hasn't been officially released in the US, though, I ordered mine from Amazon Canada many months ago & got it rather quickly for a decent price (about 19.75 USD).

5 out of 5, HIGHLY recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Like the Maddin Style, You'll Love This Dec 19 2008
By Alric the Red - Published on Amazon.com
This latest film by Guy Maddin is classified as a documentary on Winnipeg, but it's about as much a documentary on Winnipeg as his BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! is a documentary on lighthouse painting. It bears what I now see as his patent style, which I eagerly embrace. Again he borrows aspects of silent film and minimalist Foley work to conjure the sense of pale memory filtered through dream. The only time it actually resembles a real documentary is when he intermittently and briefly resorts to amateur-millimeter color film. In a couple of places, he segues into garish and broad animation that dovetails with his style by resembling some recovered grade-school educational film. To provide the missing pieces of his faux journal, he hired actors to portray the Maddin family, in their full panoply of dysfunction. How much is true, only Maddin can say. He has the uncanny ability to jab the interstitial material between memories, hitting it just close enough so that you get a vivid sense of something concrete beneath an abstract rendering, sometimes to comic effect. It all comes together brilliantly, if you're inclined toward this sort of thing. Maddin is the modern master of psychological comedy, covering similar territory staked by early Woody Allen, but with a surreal touch, and sans the kvetching.

The extra features include three very short Maddin films and a separate short of some of that surreal bygone animation (which, by the way, was NOT created by Maddin). As for the film itself, at bottom, I suppose some of this stuff COULD be real, in some skeletal way. We know there's a city called Winnipeg; so that much is definitely true. However, it's doubtful that people took strolls on the frozen river, among horse heads protruding through, frozen in anguish.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Reality Feb. 10 2009
By Mark Rufo - Published on Amazon.com
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People who say they want something new usually don't mean it. But I suspect that this film is something new - which is why a lot of viewers won't "get it." I am not an expert on the output of Guy Maddin. I think "The Saddest Music in the World" is a masterpiece. "Brand Upon the Brain" let me down, but maybe I need a second viewing. "My Winnipeg" is both like and unlike both of them. It is a dream meditation upon Maddin's hometown. I suppose you could call it a docu-fantasy. I know I could never visit Guy Maddin's Winnipeg because it exists inside Guy Maddin's skull. But I enjoyed going there in this movie. It is certainly now realer for me than the real Winnipeg - which as far as it concerns me is a dot on a map with letters next to it. But if I ever go to Winnipeg (only if I get on the wrong flight)I will be convinced that it is a faulty attempt to realize Maddin's vision.
This movie pushes back the horizon, and you can't ask a movie to do more than that. Maybe it deserves five stars. I held back the final star just because there is nothing else to compare it to. It could be the first in a new genre of docu-fantasies - but probably only after it is rediscovered in twenty years, forty years, whatever. It isn't just ahead of the curve; it's off the graph paper altogether.
See it. Enjoy it. Or bitch about it afterwards. But don't pass it up.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging tribute to hometown by eccentric director Guy Maddin Aug. 22 2009
By Andres C. Salama - Published on Amazon.com
This engaging, very personal tribute from weird Canadian director Guy Maddin to his hometown of Winnipeg is very well done. Shot in black and white with his familiar style that reminds one of both silent cinema and the films of David Lynch, the plot has an alter ego of the director hire his elderly, domineering mother (actually b-movie starlet from the 1940s Ann Savage) and actors playing his siblings in order to relive his teenage years in the sixties, and sort of understand what makes him tick. The movie includes a lot of lore about Winnipeg that may be true in some cases and is almost certainly not true in other cases (the story about the frozen horses' heads in the river, for example, is hard for me to believe). This deadpan, funny tribute is most of all a nostalgic paean to his childhood, and a denunciation of modern capitalism mindless drive to change all things (Maddin recounts in a heartfelt way how they demolished a popular department store as well as his beloved ice hockey arena, for example). And because nostalgia of our childhood is something that most people can relate to, this makes this movie more accessible than other films of him. The film explains also the reason he never leave Winnipeg (in order to defend it, and not let others completely ruin it) as well as a lot of the obsessions in his other movies (for instance, his fascination with communist aesthetics seems rooted in the strong labor movement in his hometown).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned and brand new April 23 2009
By Richard B. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
My Winnipeg utilizes old fashioned cinematic techniques and achieves a sense of instant freshness. Think of a documentary co-directed by Salvador Dali and David Lynch. My Winnipeg is a dreamlike account of a quirky city's quirky legends. The result is private, personal and utterly stunning. The director describes it as melodrama and he describes melodrama as uninhibited action. In this case the film represents a compilation of uninhibited memories--trenchant, sexy, sometimes bizarre and never dull. If there is a subtext it is that every quirky city is, ultimately, quirky in the same ways. It evokes memories in the mind of a child (or childlike director) and those memories are slightly tilted because the child draws conclusions and infers meaning in different ways than adults do. The result is something more funny, more honest and, sometimes more sad than the representations offered by traditional documentaries. The best way to describe My Winnipeg is to say that it includes elements from classic (particularly early) cinema and utilizes them to create something that feels absolutely new. It's not weird; it's wonderful.
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