The Saddest Music In The World ~ (Canada, 2003) ~ DVD

Another mad, surreal and oddly funny film from Guy Maddin. Once again Maddin brings his vision of Winnipeg to the world, a backwards look again, this time to depression era, 1933. This film reminds me of Brand Upon The Brain, also by Maddin. Not surprising, as Maddin’s film are unique and would remind you of nothing else other than another Maddin film. His style is that distinct.

A double amputee (legs below the knee), the beer baroness of Winnipeg, decides to hold a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Among contestants and teams from throughout the world are Chester Kent (the Baroness’ former lover – Isabella Rosellini), his father Fyodor Kent, an alcoholic doctor who amputated the Baroness’ legs, and Roderick Kent, Chester’s brother.

Roderick represents Serbia, in honor of his disappeared wife. Chester represents America. And Fyodor represents Canada. That’s just the beginning. The competition, game show style, is a hoot. The film is purposely burnished old school – real old school. That’s Maddin’s style.

Embedded in all this is a sly commentary on Amerika.

Maddin’s films are jaw-dropping to watch, and this is no exception.

Here’s a short Maddin – Night Mayor – which gives a flavor of his work.

♦♦♦

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