You Asked, Guy Maddin Answers!

DISCOUNT ALERT!!! Tickets to Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed now just $10 online with discount code "reframed" or at the box office one hour before showtime!

We asked for your questions for Guy Maddin, the beloved Canadian auteur who will be at the Film Society tonight and tomorrow for Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed, a special presentation of his debut feature with an all-new LIVE score and narration. The questions and Maddin's hilarious responses are below; several lucky askers won FREE pairs of tickets to the event.

Jonathan Milenko: What attracted you to such an unconventional approach to filmmaking?

It¹s the only kind I can do, so that appeals to me, but only by default. Had I been forced early on, like a left-handed kid compelled by a strict teacher to use only his right hand, to shoot episodes of Canadian TV, I might be far more versatile now. But I was a spoiled child, so to this day my hand is the primitive and smudgy scrawl you see on the screen.

Jonathan Hastings: "Metropolis" or "Moonfleet"?

Hate to say it, but "Moonraker."

Austin Dale: How do you react when someone sitting near you in a movie theater starts talking?

I don¹t mind the talking, it¹s all the pesto belches one hears in art houses that really get me down. What am I supposed to say? Please stop belching?

Phaedra Barlas: What's Winnipeg like?

Great! Dreamy! Enchanted and sugar-frosted ­or frost-sugared!!!! You should move there! I must say I have recently heard it described as a concrete-cold armpit, a smelly blot and a popped-zit frozen in mid-eruption, but those slams doesn't even make any sense to me. I don't get it.

Graham Swindoll: I've been struggling with the recent deaths of Ruiz and Kuchar. What mourning rituals do you engage in to cope with the deaths of significant figures?

For the death of Kuchar, whom I knew a little and liked a lot, I donned a fruit-bowl hat brimming with blackening bananas and wore it for a week, till the fruit flies hovering in front of my face obscured my vision. I wanted to be as personally overripe as his dialogue—to inhabit his work in this perhaps desperate way felt like paying tribute. I was at the cottage that week and it was easy enough to do without bothering anyone else. Ruiz was a big loss, too, though I went through no ritual for him. I did stare a good long time at his filmography, knowing now that it is fixed and finished, and wonderfully abundant, just like all the other filmographies from Olympus.

Rae Stimson: Were there any pieces of art in your home growing up that still haunt you?

Not really, but I watched a lot of The Untouchables TV show as a youngster. There was a drawing of Elliot Ness's men beneath the tail credits. One guy in that drawing had a weird jowl that, viewed from behind, made no sense to my eyes. I couldn¹t wrap my head around it and that jowl floated through many an early sixties nightmare. Yikes, I still don¹t like it.

Dustin Nelson: What comes first when production starts: visual aesthetic or story?

It peeves me to see when production design has clearly been tacked onto a story. The design may be beautiful, maybe even too beautiful, and still have nothing to do with its story. I like having a world first, then the story. But I¹m one of the worst storytellers in cinema so what do I know? BTW, I feel the same way when a score has clearly been tacked onto a film, more as a repair job, or as something imposed on a film afterward, like wallpaper or grout, maybe even against the director¹s will. Ideally these things all happen at once, as part of a happy collaborative process. Only on projects with really big or really small budgets can this happen. Lucky for me my budgets are positively monad-sized.

Our unique presentation of Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed will screen Friday and Saturday at 7pm and 9pm.

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