May 10, 2009

Listen Up Again: The Talkies Return With Guy Maddin

Next up, The Saddest Music in the World, June 18, 2009

Back in February, Jacksonville transplant Tim Massett brought John Cameron Mitchell to town for the first Minneapolis installment of The Talkies, his great idea to bring directors into the theater for live commentary about their celebrated films. That showing of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Heights Theatre was sold out, and also featured a rendition of the film's soundtrack played on the mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Judging by the trailer for the second installment on June 18, Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music in the World, the organ playing will only add to the surreal 1930's atmosphere.

I still regret missing Maddin's highly acclaimed My Winnipeg last year, so I hope to make this one and check out a filmmaker that by all accounts is one of the most creative in the business. The Saddest Music in the World is only five years old, but it appears to be more like 75 years old.

The opening of Roger Ebert's 3.5/4 star review: "So many movies travel the same weary roads. So few imagine entirely original worlds. Guy Maddin's "The Saddest Music in the World" exists in a time and place we have never seen before..."

And the end of the same review: "To see this film, to enter the world of Guy Maddin, is to understand how a film can be created entirely by its style, and how its style can create a world that never existed before, and lure us, at first bemused and then astonished, into it."

Check it out on June 18, and plan on buying your tickets in advance.

From The Talkies website:

It may be cliché but what better way to ease our financial-minded woes than to gather round the silver screen to witness Baroness Lady Helen-Port Huntley’s contest to end all contests: who can produce THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD?

Blowing in from the northerly diabolic region known as Winnipeg, Guy Maddin’s live commentary marks The Talkies’ 5th installment. Uniquely gifted to push this nascent notion into uncharted waters Maddin, the maniac behind the expanded viewing spectacles such as Branded Upon the Brain and the beautiful essay My Winnipeg, innately understands how special the space in the cinema can be and will, on June 18th, transform The Heights Theatre into the best Talkies experience yet.

Arrive at 7p.m. on Thursday, June 18th for a 35mm screening of THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD starring Isabella Rossellini and Mark McKinney (of Kids in the Hall fame) . At 9:00p.m. this celluloid salvo screens again with the extra somethin' somethin' that only The Talkies provides: live commentary from Guy Maddin himself.


7:00p.m. MOVIE ONLY - $7 advance, $8 at the door

9:00p.m. MADDIN TALKIES - $18.50 in advance, $22 at the door

Depression Special (BOTH SHOWS) - $20


  1. I already bought my ticket to this one. Depression special, I might add. I'm pretty excited. Maddin was at the Walker a few years ago, and, as you might expect, he has a very dry sense of humor. I also love Saddest Music in the World, a film I regularly quote.

  2. Daniel - I think you're in for a treat. "Saddest Music in the World" is a a sad, funny wholly original and extremely imaginative film. It's the first and only Guy Maddin film I've seen.

    The new format looks great BTW.

  3. Well those are two rousing recommendations from trusted sources. I'm surprised that this film went completely unnoticed by me four years ago, if only because even before blogging I was still pretty on top of new releases. At the same time, My Winnipeg came and left in a flash last year, so maybe it's not that surprising.

    And thanks for the feedback, Pat.

  4. I was kind of cold on My Winnipeg, but loved Branded Upon the Brain!.

  5. Well I'm 0/2 there, but boy, I really thought people were going nuts over My Winnipeg last year. I think I'll use this one as kind of a litmus test for Maddin to see what my reaction is.


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