Director Guy Maddin was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and grew up on the second floor of his mother’s beauty salon. The bitter cold often meant occupying himself indoors. Like a sponge, he soaked up many lores, and eventually gained an appreciation for classic movies and silent films. Aside from his fertile imagination, Maddin often draws on the romanticized memories of his childhood. His unique vision allows him to make amazing films with very low budgets and makeshift sets.
Tales From the Gimli Hospital (1988) is Maddin’s first feature film. His debut short, The Dead Father, had already exhibited his natural filmmaking talents. The film begins as a story told to children, then gets immersed into the rivalry of two ailing men in a crudely fashioned hospital. You may never find another movie that has near the dreamlike quality of Tales From the Gimli Hospital. It is quintessentially Guy Maddin.
The Saddest Music in the World (2003) is possibly Maddin’s highest budgeted film to date. It stars Mark McKinney and Isabella Rossellini, with outstanding supporting roles by Maria de Medeiros, David Fox and Ross McMillan. Maddin’s longtime friend and collaborator, George Toles, adapted the screenplay written by Kazuo Ishiguro. A Canadian beer baroness holds a worldwide competition for The Saddest Music in the World. Maddin utilizes sprinklings of grainy 8mm footage and pays homage to his love for melodrama. It is arguably his most accessible film in every way.
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