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My Winnipeg Blu-ray Review

My Winnipeg Blu-ray

“My Winnipeg” is a peculiar pseudo documentary.

Written, narrated, and directed by Guy Maddin, “My Winnipeg” is a deeply personal and dreamlike documentary (of sorts) about his hometown of Winnipeg and his desire to leave it behind. Throughout the 80 minute runtime, Maddin waxes poetically about the sleepy, snowy, cold city and nostalgically chats about its history, geography, sleepwalkers, architecture, frozen horse heads, the Winnipeg Arena, hockey, and defunct places. The film is largely comprised of imagery, title cards, still images, and odd family reenactments (where Maddin recounts his childhood, family, and mother) that are entirely narrated by Maddin himself.

If you take the works of documentarian Ross McElwee and mix it with David Lynch, you get somewhat of an idea of what Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg” is like. It’s a very unique, arty, pretentious, experimental documentary that feels more like a narrated video poem. To say it takes some get used to the rhythm of the docu is an understatement, but once you get accustomed to Maddin’s weird vision and style, you may or may not find yourself hooked.

On the subject of the narration, while it’s insightful and honest at times, Maddin’s voice can get tiresome as he bitterly recounts what the city has lost and repetitively uses words like “Home,” “Dreams,” and “Winnipeg” more times than anyone ever should.


Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How does it look? The largely B&W imagery looks refined in this hi-def upgrade.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Since the film essentially only has narration and music (with some sound f/x here and there), the track doesn’t have much to do. With that said, the sound quality is pleasantly clear from start to finish.

* A fold out booklet featuring an essay by film critic Wayne Koestenbaum on one side and  aposter on the other.
* “My Winnipeg” trailer.
* 5 short films (with optional Guy Maddin introductions for the first 3) titled “Spanky: To The Pier and Back,” “Sinclair,” “Only Dream Things,” “The Hall Runner,” and “Louis Riel For Dinner.” Subjects range from a pug, a man in a wheelchair in a remote room, dreams, a deleted scene from “My Winnipeg,” and an animated piece about Louis Riel.
* “My Winnipeg: Live In Toronto”- A 9 minute featurette about the screening of Maddin’s film in Toronto back in 2008 (where he provided live narration for the film).
* “Guy Maddin And Robert Enright”- A newly recorded discussion about “My Winnipeg” between Guy Maddin and art critic Robert Enright.
* 4 cine-essays by Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin titled “Puberty,” “Colours,” “Elms,” and “Cold.”

Overall Thoughts: Guy Maddin’s ode to Winnipeg is profound, cheesy, informative, and egotistical, but it’s unquestionably a one of a kind work.


February 2, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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