Guy Maddin’s (The Forbidden Room) latest cinematic fever dream is a madcap medley of excerpts from Hollywood movies and TV shows, re-edited into an ingenious, frequently hilarious tribute to Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
San Francisco plays itself in the hundreds of clips Maddin and his collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson have pillaged from movies and TV shows shot on location in the Bay Area, and then stitched together into a giddy fantasy version of Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece.
Naturally, Maddin’s own feverish obsession with film history insists that this is no literal reconstruction of arguably the greatest film about obsession ever made. At once playful and experimental, it’s a woozy subversion of Hitchcock’s powerful male gaze, a lusty tone poem on homoeroticism and sapphic longing, and a cheeky, self-reflexive meditation on watching. Full of pregnant pauses and arcane juxtapositions, it’s also a hoot, and the perfect vehicle for Maddin’s florid sense of humour, with such delightful perversions as Rock Hudson eyeballing an NSYNC music video and wooden action star Chuck Norris wowing us with a performance for the ages.
Screening with ACCIDENCE
The short film Accidence is hardly less rich in images, though they are spread across the screen in just one single shot. A murder has been committed on a balcony. But it is only one of the many balconies attached to a large apartment block. Strange things are transpiring on each of them on a loop. As the eye attempts to take them all in, the murder soon seems entirely unimportant.
[Dir: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson • 2018 • Canada • 9 mins]
Special thanks to The Festival Agency and Six Shooter Records.
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