Thursday, 26 April 2012

Focus On: Nocturnal Transmissions: The Cinema of Guy Maddin

Keyhole 2011 Source/Courtesy E1
Maddin's latest film 'Keyhole' 2011. Courtesy E1
ACMI presents its latest collection in their Focus On series - Nocturnal Transmissions: The Cinema of Guy Maddin, screening from 5 to 27 July. This retrospective will include the Australian premiere of his latest work Keyhole, and a special selection of double bills curated by Maddin, teaming one of his films with a companion film which he sees as an ideal screening partner.

For decades, Guy Maddin has been creating cinematic worlds governed by their own logic. Inventive, self-deprecating and irreverent, Maddin is one of the leading lights of contemporary cinema. Career retrospectives have previously showcased at the Wexner Centre, UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Centre Pompidou, however Nocturnal Transmissions: The Cinema of Guy Maddin will be the most comprehensive career survey of his work to screen within Australia. Not only including a range of his feature length works, but also a myriad of short films that are rarely seen in the cinema.

A hero of the retrospective is the Australian premiere of his newest film Keyhole, a sprawling gangster flick which Maddin describes "the autobiography of a house". As melodramatic as it is atmospheric, the main character Ulysses encounters a number of ghostly characters within the house such as his estranged wife (Maddin regular, Isabella Rossellini), her father and the son Ulysses' doesn't recognise. A homage to Homer's Odyssey, Keyhole bares all the Director's surreal irreverent hallmarks.

This retrospective introduces a number of new avenues for viewers to experience the film program. Firstly, ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson introduces Guided Journey's - providing an overview or particular interest of Maddin's career for the uninitiated and fans alike. Secondly, Guy Maddin has selected a companion film to be shown alongside one of his features. A highlight of this programming selection is on Friday the 13th where Maddin pairs Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary with the Brazilian classic This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse in full 35mm glory!

There are three Guided Journey programs for viewers to experience. Horror & Taboo explores the dark secrets of Maddin's characters and pushes illicit acts and taboo subjects to the limit. Films shown are Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary and Brand Upon the Brain! The second collection titled Family Relations covers the recurring theme of Maddin's, familial strife. Shown in this collection is Careful, Cowards Bend At The Knee and Keyhole. Amnesia is the final recurring theme to be covered with the selection entitled Amnesia Trilogy and includes Archangel, The Saddest Music in the World and Keyhole.

The second feature of this program will be the run of double bills throughout the season that have been selected by Maddin particularly for this retrospective. Chosen for the thematic fit, or because it was inspirational to Maddin, these additional films can be seen in isolation or as a double bill, heightening the experience of Maddin.

The double bills are: Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Maddin's feature debut, has been paired with the haunting vampire tale from Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, Vampyr. Archangel about mistaken identity, unrequited love and amnesia in the Russian Arctic has been coupled with the Hitchcock classic Vertigo . The reworking of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary with the Winnipeg Royal Ballet, Maddin selects This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse by Jose Mojica Marins, to compliment. The love letter to ice hockey, Cowards Bend at the Knee is teamed with Barbara Stanwyck staring in The Furies - a Wild West Greek tragedy. Crowd favourite My Winnipeg will be shown with White Zombie, Victor Halperin's legendary pre-code horror film; and Maddin's latest Keyhole, will be shown alongside Hausu (House), the Japanese cult classic described as "Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento", finishing the double bill selection with demonic house cats, evil spirits and homicidal pianos.

ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson has compiled this season saying 'This retrospective aims to be comprehensive enough for Maddin fans to revisit favourites and discover filmic curios. For the uninitiated, there is an abundance of treasures here to send you on a cinematic journey from which you won't want to return."

ACMI's latest Focus On season Nocturnal Transmissions: The Cinema of Guy Maddin screens from 5 to 27 July 2012 at ACMI, Federation Square. For further information please visit:

Further information

Donna Hillier
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone]  61 3 8663 2475 [fax]  61 3 8663 2498
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