My Winnipeg (Maddin, 2008)

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A wonder rush of history and memory from Canadian director/critic Guy Maddin, My Winnipeg melds Documentary structure (omniscient voice-over, archival footage, reenactment) with silent film aesthetics (intertitles, expressionist acting). It’s funny, poignant, and altogether revealing, especially when Maddin evokes past family demons by hiring actors to play his siblings and mother (played by the late Ann Savage), staging some of the more complicated moments from his past. My Winnipeg might be overcome by artifice at times, but it’s a glaringly personal historiography of an artist re-addressing his own identity within a shifting time and place, frozen with contradictions, beautifully stuck in all its glories and pitfalls.

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