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The Saddest Music in the World

Posted by martinteller on March 21, 2005

Maddin is maddening.  I have tried to be a fan of his work.  His visual sense is so astoundingly unique.  A pastiche of silent-era styles, heavy on the expressionism, with modern avant-garde touches.  I’m pretty sure no one else is making movies that look anything like this.  But goddamn it, he is simply incapable of making a story worth sitting through.  I almost gave up after a half hour, but against my better judgment I plowed onward.  Quirk built upon meaningless quirk, humor that falls completely flat, a somewhat interesting premise utterly wasted, awful casting choice in Mark McKinney, and to top it off, it’s tinged with that vague but rabid sense of anti-Americanism that seems epidemic among Canadians.  Oh yes, our lovable neighbors to the north certainly have us pegged, we’re all greedy and soulless down here.  To be fair, this is the closest Maddin has come to developing a decent plot, but ultimately it still feels empty and mindlessly gimmicky.  I wish the man would either find a good writer or stick to shorts.  Rating: 4 


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