My Winnipeg

A herd of horses frozen in a river. A bargain bridge. Seances. Golden Boy pageants. A demolished hockey arena haunted by skating ghosts. St. Mary’s Academy for Girls. Toby the dog. An epidemic of sleepwalking. This is the Winnipeg of Guy Maddin, the world’s foremost cineaste planant, not the Winnipeg of tourist brochures. No, when the iconoclastic auteur of The Saddest Music in the World and Brand upon the Brain! decided to tackle the subject of his hometown, it could only have ended up as a "docu-fantasia," a melange of personal history, civic tragedy, and mystical hypothesizing. He relates historical information, from the factual to the dubious, and returns to his childhood home with actors hired to replicate his family (including B-movie icon Ann Savage as his mother) and revisit traumatic scenes from his youth. Through it all we see a man on a train trying feverishly, again, continuously, to leave his hometown. Wildly delirious, deeply personal, and deliciously entertaining, My Winnipeg was the opening night selection at the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum and was chosen best Canadian film at the Toronto International Film Festival. This book allows you to venture deeper into the mind of Maddin, with marginal digressions, stills, outtakes, childhood photos, animations, diary entries, collages, archival images, and nascent treatments. There is a hand-drawn map of Maddin’s personal landmarks. There is an interview between Ann Savage and Maddin’s mother. There’s even an x-ray of Toby the dog featuring his enlarged heart: like Maddin, he loves too much, and perilously.

"If you love movies in the very sinews of your imagination, you should experience the work of Guy Maddin ... His imagination frees the lurid possibilities of the banal. He rewrites history; when that fails, he creates it." — Roger Ebert, on My Winnipeg

"Is Winnipeg Mr. Maddin’s name for his own unconscious? Or do he and the city, the map of which reminds him of a woman’s genitals, share a tendency to find perversity buried in the banal and the everyday? It’s hard to say for sure, but whatever its connection to the actual, transitory city, Mr. Maddin’s Winnipeg — My Winnipeg — is as real as any work of art can be." — A. O. Scott, The New York Times

"I think My Winnipeg is the finest, funniest, saddest film I’ve seen in Toronto or at any festival this year." — Richard Corliss, Time