Guy Maddin’s Hauntings I Visits Winnipeg

Guy Maddin’s Hauntings I
Sept. 2nd – Oct. 2nd at Platform Gallery
Presented by WNDX Film Festival and Platform Gallery

In a joint effort, WNDX Festival of Film and Video Art and the PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts are presenting an installation of Guy Maddin’s Hauntings I for the month of September.

Udo Keir in Lilith and Ly

Originally commissioned for the 2010 opening of the new TIFF Lightbox theatre in Toronto, the Hauntings project is an ongoing one for Winnipeg’s infamous auteur filmmaker Guy Maddin.  The concept is to remake a vast number of lost or never completed films, thus shining a spotlight on forgotten cinematic history.

While the exact remakes to be included in the installation have not really been released, the WNDX press release (listed below) says Maddin’s installation will summon the ghosts of “F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Hollis Frampton, Victor Sjöström, Jean Vigo, Kenji Mizoguchi and Josef von Sternberg”. One (especially one that worked on this project) can assume this means the inclusion of Lilith and Ly, a lost horror film from 1919 originally written by Fritz Lang. Also expected in attendance is a remake of Hollis Frampton’s Clouds Like White Sheep, a film which the famous experimental filmmaker accidentally forgot on a New York subway car.

The films to be shown as part of the installation were all created in conjunction with Maddin’s latest feature Keyhole, which is set to premiere at TIFF in early September.   Fassbinder legend Udo Kier and Maddin regular Louis Negin will undoubtedly grace the Hauntings I screens, along with a long list of other Winnipeg and international actors.

-Aaron Zeghers

Udo and Louis

“The ghosts of cinema loom large in Guy Maddin’s body of work. Hauntings is a series of very short films commissioned for the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox. Both a cheeky commentary on the idea of an essential films list and a harrowing exploration of the regret and weakness felt by cinema’s great masters, this is both Maddin’s most expansive work in terms of the sheer size of its palette and his most personal. For years, he has been collecting tales of unrealized, half finished or abandoned films, potential masterworks doomed to oblivion as they slipped out of their creators’ control. This impulse rhymes remarkably well with Maddin’s thematic obsession with regret and the perils of wild abandon found in both his film and installation works.”

-Noah Cowan

“Cinema is a haunted medium, a projection of people, places and things not really present. As we know a film can summon before our eyes, like ghosts invoked from the beyond, performances from the past, performances by actors no longer with us, in settings changed forever. But when a movie is lost, as so many great works from the medium’s earliest years are, it’s a double haunting, for a misplaced film is an artwork consigned to limbo, a narrative with no known final resting place. It wanders over unconsecrated ground, an unhappy spirit. Out of concern that the sensational TIFF Bell Lightbox might be too spanking new for the sad ectoplasms that really should be a movie venue’s luminous principal denizens, I have offered to haunt the joint. I present then, to the facility’s first throngs, projected resurrections of film history’s most mourned-after lost masterpieces remade, as wispy fragments conjured in my own private studio seances. I hope these long-beleaguered spectres feel immediately at home in the TIFF BLB, and set themselves to the entrancing task at hand: haunting!”

-Guy Maddin

Udo flying

WNDX Press Release:

Collaboration Between WNDX & PLATFORM

This September, WNDX is extremely excited to be partnering with PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts to present the Winnipeg debut of Guy Maddin’s large-scale, multi-screen, installation: HAUNTINGS I.

– Exhibition runs from September 02 – October 02, 2011.
– Artist Talk by Guy Maddin: October 1st, 2011 at 3pm at Platform
– Closing Night Party: October 1st, 2011 at 11pm at Platform, during Nuit Blanche
– The WNDX Festival is scheduled September 29 – October 2, 2011

Opening at Platform Centre (Main floor of the Artspace Building, 100 Arthur Street), this multi-channel installation will be presented in a haunted-house like setting, with the films projected on to bedsheets, cheesecloth and other surfaces, while the evocative soundtracks flood the gallery.

Through this recent work, which was commissioned for the opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, home of the Toronto International Film Festival, Maddin continues to explore the history of film, which he describes as “a haunted medium, a projection of people, places and things not really present.”

Following it’s initial presentation in Toronto, Maddin’s Hauntings project was presented at the Berlinale, and most recently as part of the hugely successful tour de force, My Winnipeg, organized by Plug In ICA and presented in Paris at La Maison Rouge.

He summons the unmade and lost films of F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Hollis Frampton, Victor Sjöström, Jean Vigo, Kenji Mizoguchi and Josef von Sternberg, and rescues cinematographic ghosts from oblivion. Consigned to limbo, now resurrected and remade, he projects these masterpieces so that they might continue to haunt film history.

“Hauntings” was commissioned for the opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, 2010

~ by cineflyer on August 28, 2011.

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