Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin

by William Beard

© 2010

Guy Maddin started making films in his back yard and on his kitchen table. Now his unique work, which relies heavily on such archaic means as black and white small-format cinematography and silent-film storytelling, premieres at major film festivals around the world and is avidly discussed in the critical press. Into the Past provides a complete and systematic critical commentary on each of Maddin's feature films and shorts, from his 1986 debut film The Dead Father through to his highly successful 2008 full-length 'docu-fantasia' My Winnipeg.

William Beard's extensive analysis of Maddin's narrative and aesthetic strategies, themes, influences, and underlying issues also examines the origins and production history of each film. Each of Maddin's projects and collaborations showcase his gradual evolution as a filmmaker and his singular development of narrative forms. Beard's close readings of these films illuminate, among other things, the profound ways in which Maddin's art is founded in the past - both in the cultural past, and in his personal memory.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 504 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.1in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED MAY 2010

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Quick Overview

Into the Past provides a complete and systematic critical commentary on each of Maddin's feature films and shorts, from his 1986 debut film The Dead Father through to his highly successful 2008 full-length 'docu-fantasia' My Winnipeg.

Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin

by William Beard

© 2010

Guy Maddin started making films in his back yard and on his kitchen table. Now his unique work, which relies heavily on such archaic means as black and white small-format cinematography and silent-film storytelling, premieres at major film festivals around the world and is avidly discussed in the critical press. Into the Past provides a complete and systematic critical commentary on each of Maddin's feature films and shorts, from his 1986 debut film The Dead Father through to his highly successful 2008 full-length 'docu-fantasia' My Winnipeg.

William Beard's extensive analysis of Maddin's narrative and aesthetic strategies, themes, influences, and underlying issues also examines the origins and production history of each film. Each of Maddin's projects and collaborations showcase his gradual evolution as a filmmaker and his singular development of narrative forms. Beard's close readings of these films illuminate, among other things, the profound ways in which Maddin's art is founded in the past - both in the cultural past, and in his personal memory.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 504 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.1in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Into the Past is an impressive in-depth look at all of the major works in the Maddin inventory and more than a glance at almost everything else Maddin has ever produced. This immaculate achievement comprises a close set of readings and analysis that could only have been driven by a scholar happily lost in the funhouse of the material.
    Noreen Golfman, Literary Review of Canada

    'To use a culinary metaphor, Into the Past is a grand entrée on which the chef has expanded a deal of thought and time. In terms of Maddin's work, Beard is the master chef and Into the Past his pièce de résistance.'
    George Melnyk
    Great Plains Quarterly, Spring 2011

    'Canada's most original and enigmatic filmmaker has found a superb interlocutor. William Beard demonstrates his deep and broad understanding of film history in these detailed, incisive, heartfelt, and sometimes playful interpretations of Guy Maddin's personal and artistic life.'
    Scott Forsyth, Department of Film, York University

    'It seems entirely possible that with Into the Past, Guy Maddin has found his most committed exegete. Not only is William Beard deeply invested in the Maddin oeuvre; he appears to have studied every available scrap in his filmography and compiled an impressive array of production information. For anyone seeking guidance in the Maddin labyrinth, Beard offers not only a treasure chest, but a map showing us the way to many of the jewels.'
    Jonathan Rosenbaum, author of Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons and Discovering Orson Welles
  • Author Information

    William Beard is a professor and film studies program director in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.

  • Table of contents

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

     

    Acknowledgements iii


    Introduction 1


    Chapter 1: The Dead Father 18


    Chapter 2: Tales from the Gimli Hospital 31


    Chapter 3: Archangel 66


    Chapter 4: Careful 122


    Chapter 5: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs 181


    Chapter 6: Dracula—Pages from a Virgin's Diary 232


    Chapter 7: Cowards Bend the Knee 271


    Chapter 8: The Saddest Music in the World 335


    Chapter 9: Brand Upon the Brain! 389


    Chapter 10: My Winnipeg 452


    Envoi 517


    Appendix: The Short Films 520


    Bibliography 581

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