Guy Madden’s Hauntings I Open to Public

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.  The exhibit is now open to the public.

See write-ups done by the Winnipeg Free Press, Uptown Magazine and Cineflyer below.

Udo in Plane

August 28, 2011

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 specific remakes to be included in the installation have not been released, the WNDX press release says it will summon the ghosts of “F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Hollis Frampton, Victor Sjöström, Jean Vigo, Kenji Mizoguchi and Josef von Sternberg”. One 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 Winnipeg Free Press
Sept. 2, 2011

Guy’s Ghosts
Director’s short snippets pay homage to the lost silent films that haunt him

If Guy Maddin’s film style is doggedly antique, the notion of a Guy Maddin art installation is as close as the Winnipeg filmmaker may ever get to 3-D.

In Hauntings I, 11 pieces of his work are projected on different walls throughout the Platform Gallery’s cosy Artspace facility, screened through cheesecloth, or screened on a black wall. Maddin’s delicious foggy esthetic is everywhere you turn.

On one wall, German cult star Udo Kier (who looks born to appear in Maddin films) is a lusty ship’s captain literally counting out his sexual exploits on an abacus to an actor in a dimestore ape costume. On another, Kier is a pilot racing against his nemesis in a sabotaged airplane. Over here, the world’s most glam film critic Kim Morgan (a.k.a. Mrs. Guy Maddin) is cuddling with a stuffed white wolf, contemplating the weird cemetery paradox of Bela Lugosi being buried next to Bing Crosby.

In tribute to the ’70s cinema gimmick Sensurround, let’s call it Guysurround.

The installation was originally created for the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox facility last September, and was revived in Winnipeg to herald the WNDX Festival of New Prairie & Canadian Cinema, which begins in earnest Sept. 29.

Maddin, who is currently in New York, describes the 11 films as “little impressionistic fragments of films lost to history.

“Over 80 per cent of all films made in the silent era are lost, destroyed by time, kaput,” Maddin says. “They are narratives with no known final resting place, stories consigned to wander miserably the limbo landscape of film’s unknowable history.

“They haunt me, because I can never see them, unless, well, unless I make them myself and then watch them.

“Some of the lost films were huge commercial hits, zeitgeist-defining works made by canonical directors, nominated for Academy Awards.

“It drives me mad these things can never be seen. Every great director from the era lost at least one film. F.W. Murnau lost 10. Imagine a world where at least one novel was randomly removed from us forever from the works of Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Dreiser, and on and on.

“For us to be deprived of so much greatness drives me crazy. I needed to make contact, if only a charlatan’s contact, with these films somehow.”

RK: The films were shot concurrently with Keyhole, which premières at this year’s TIFF. Isn’t making a feature film demanding enough, you had to pile on a series of short silent pieces as well?

GM: Yes, it was mad, too mad to resist doing. But I deputized a half-dozen filmmakers I like to direct some of these for me. My frequent onscreen alter-ego Darcy Fehr (My Winnipeg) made one, Mike Maryniuk, who has a film at TIFF, shot one as well, with the help of Matthew Rankin. Jody Shapiro (Maddin’s frequent producer) shot a couple. Caelum Vatnsdal was always armed with a camera.

Between setups on Keyhole, I’d run round the warehouse’s slag heaps to see how the Hauntings were going. I’ve never felt more frantic, more productive. It seemed like everybody in the local filmmaking community was helping. With up to six crews working all at once, the shoot looked more like a film-camp reality show. It was really enchanting.

RK: So if you weren’t exactly the director of Hauntings, were you more of a studio chief, overseeing the projects, leaving your stamp on all of them, kind of like a David O. Selznick?

GM: I shot a few of them, but I found while making the pictures with so many other collaborators that the project took on a Ouija board feeling. It really felt like some other force made these things, and that was so cool. You’ll see, they don’t look like films directed by six different people.

RK: Significantly, you cast a film critic in both Hauntings and Keyhole. That would be Kim Morgan. How’s married life?

GM: Couldn’t be better! When I got married, my actor friend Mark McKinney said, “You know I could tell you a million jokes about the movie director who married the film critic, but I won’t.”

RK: What are you doing in New York?

GM: I’m at an artist’s residency with a bunch of Icelandic musicians developing Winnipegger Matthew Patton’s new score for my first feature, Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988). We’re putting on a live-music and effects version of the movie at NY’s Lincoln Center in November.

RK: Do you have anything special in mind for the première of Keyhole at TIFF (on Friday)?

GM: We have some première hijinks planned, some of it involving Jason Patric, Udo Kier and Louis Negin, the three holy terrors who kept me awake nights during the shoot. They were like Errol Flynn, John Barrymore and Peter Lorre out on the town every night. My liver!

On top of it all, Louis is a nudist! Ideally, he jiggles out at the end of a wildly unrolling red carpet.

Guy Maddin will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m. at the Platform Gallery. The exhibit’s closing night party will be held that same day at 11 p.m.

-Randall King

Udo Whispers

Uptown Magazine
Sept. 1, 2011

The Ghosts of Lost Film
Guy Maddin’s multi-screen installation Hauntings I opens Friday at PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts

Originally commissioned for the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, Guy Maddin’s multi-screen installation Hauntings I opens Friday at Winnipeg’s PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts, co-presented by WNDX: Winnipeg’s Festival of Film and Video Art.

The exhibition runs to Oct. 2, with an artist’s talk from Maddin on the afternoon of Oct. 1 as part of WNDX 2011. A closing night party will take place that evening at PLATFORM, located on the main floor of the Artspace Building at 100 Arthur St.

“Hauntings I will be different than it’s been in the past,” says Jaimz Asmundson, Winnipeg filmmaker and co-coordinator of WNDX. “It’s going to be a bit more theatrical, like a ‘haunted house’ of lost film.”

For years Maddin had collected stories of unexecuted, uncompleted or neglected films that might very well have been cinematic masterpieces. He then collaborated with poet John Ashbery to devise actual scripts; these were shot in Winnipeg in 2010, in collaboration with fellow Winnipeg auteurs Caelum Vatnsdal, Mike Maryniuk, Darcy Fehr and Clint Enns, among others.

Hauntings I involved 11 shorts projected within the front part of the TIFF Lightbox theatre’s main gallery. Among the lost films “adapted” are Fritz Lang’s Lilith and Ly, Josef von Sternberg’s Woman of the Sea and F.W. Murnau’s Satanas — Part 3: Revolution.

The multi channel installation at PLATFORM features the films projected on bedsheets, cheesecloth and other surfaces around the gallery in sometimes obscured fashion, facilitating a greater sense of discovery.

“We’re playing with the presentation,” says Asmundson, who co-ordinated the new set-up with Maddin himself. “It remains entirely Guy’s creation, though.

“And while he won’t be there in person, he’ll be there in some capacity at Friday night’s opening,” he chuckles.

Hauntings I was also presented at the Berlinale, and most recently as a part of the show My Winnipeg, named for Maddin’s 2007 film and organized by Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art, presented at contemporary art foundation La maison rouge in Paris.

-Kenton Smith


~ by cineflyer on September 5, 2011.

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