Directed by Guy Maddin. With Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage and Amy Stewart. Distributed by IFC Films. 1 hour, 20 mins.
No MPAA rating
(creepy imagery, profanity, adult themes). Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.
Fans of Guy Maddin, the Canadian purveyor of irreverently surreal little pictures that look and feel as if they sprang from a forgotten era, a parallel universe, just need to know that My Winnipeg is here - and they're there.
For the uninitiated, however, I heartily recommend this free-associative, autobiographical gem. Commissioned by Canadian TV's Documentary Channel, the film is what Maddin calls a "docu-fantasia" - a skewed memory piece about the town where Maddin grew up, a Winnipeg with real street names and real edifices, but melded with a dreamscape of jarring images (dead horses trapped in the frozen river for an entire winter) and a whimsical concoction of local lore, family history, and made-up stuff.
Roaming around the old hockey stadia and department stores of the middle-Canadian burg, conjuring scenes from a forgotten TV series - Ledge Man, featuring a new suicide attempt each week! - and dissecting the relationships that shaped his youth, Maddin uses My Winnipeg to ponder bigger, darker questions about the nature of the past, the nature of memory.