Sunday, December 28, 2014

Papa Mike's Video #10: Guy Maddin's TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL

(With this film, I decided to try something that I have never really done - or, at least, probably, since those pot-fueled hazes when I was in my early 20's late at night in my bedroom watching movies - which is to experiment with the form of criticism WITH poetry.  Yep, I decided that not only did I have to write notes while taking in Guy Maddin's feature-directorial debut, I had to go a step further.  Part of this was just due to how fucking weird the movie is, which is to be expected when it comes to the man who could be called the Canadian David Lynch (though he never has quite reached Lynch's cult-level heights, but then Maddin never tried to adapt Dune or The Elephant Man).  Part of it was just... wanting to get it back to a sense of discovery when it comes to being a film critic, or a poet or whatever.  So.... yeah, let's see how this came out):

0) In one hour
a mother tells a tale to the curious children...
Tales from the Gimli Hospital...

Squeezes inner fish parts onto hair
quick cut, when a man slices finger
to what
it looks like under a microscope.


Shaves between eyebrows.
Black and white, old 20's music,
but sometimes rock AND roll.
Canadian David Lynch, something else too...

A man follows a woman with a lantern.

Hospital feathers, cow n sheep sounds
while showing human patients.

Using a seagull over surgery wounds.

Man watching a puppet show through small binoculars, sweating,
a leg being cut into - it doesn't look fake
and, a man in blackface, WHAT?  Reactions.
Uses a gun

to shoot

a... duck.
inside the hospital
a man winces into a fade out.
The face in the mirror in dreams...
blackface awakes.

The face in the mirror in dreams...

FRESH FISH!  no excitement
in the faces.
What's he doing here really?

gibberish or some obscure language this man...

Oh, a narrator describes a Winnipeg winter.
Of course.
A woman knitting scarves
and mittens
and time
from her hair.

I) A curse!

Nine years full of promise.
A dream into the woods
the girls gone.

Three tiny wooden coffins
This horror
made into a sad, rich beauty, dead,
wrapped in toilet paper.

Then back to the gibberish,
nurses whatever
faces and smiles
and scorn.

FRESH FISH (reprise)

A dissolve into the nothing of a face.
"Envy is a terrible ogre, children."

The narration fades,
What is this?
The hospital, I guess.

Still more half to go...
Sex behind curtains
No notes needed
what a way to cut,
from start to finish,
no middle,
rize and full.

The man's eye lids remind one of Cocteau eyes in the 'Blood' movie...

in this movie?
Eating a napkin
back to bed.

Amar weeks,
time is nurses
walking past
Gambit of sideburns
rough hewed montages
and fish-cutting appreciation and statuses.

Springtime lucky stones
on a beacha woman pile
soft, soft light
and that creamy gel on the edges
of the lens.

Laugh at a man bringing flowers in one hand
and oh boy
a scythe in the other.

II) New things with toes
and marks.
An epidemic -
NOW you tell us!

Getting busy
with clothes on.
With the art of cutting
with bark in the shape of a fish
with a blonde bob-cut
(is there one below?)

Shouting vows
across the water,
an Indian next to quarantine.
Hey, and it's a Christmas movie too?
Is this mistletoe hanging from the window....

Is it surreal
to see a man who a hairy chest
more than the make-up scars?

The pain, the sex, the marriage.

Ok, now this is getting ARTSY...

Death.  Cough.
Bad fissures.
Expressive close-ups
No, a sacrifice of a person...

Maddin as a Madman!
hey, this story seems
to be coming together
kinda sorta maybe
I dunno let's see....

Actors talking
like reading
not believable
except in a trance
or under hypnosis -
is this movie under the hypnosis of the director? 

Yes, all are.

If I turn away
a moment, I miss
things... things....

A fire on the bed,
the atmosphere of feathers
and the voices of a crowd
that's never there.

And a hint of bondage?!
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

III) To say this film appears often like it's unearthed from a psychopath's attic is an understatement.

With a touch of night
of the living dead.
With a touch
of Caligari.
With a touch of
Carnival of Souls.
With a touch of
Canadian Gothic.

Is the scissor your totem?
A heart-beat
is a flaw

but then...

Nothing says surrealism
like synchronized, high-fidelity swimming!

... One minute ahead,
a foot on you!

Did I mention
now it's making less sense
than before?

Scarecrow with a beard.
Shadow and Child.
Stalking a magnificent
horror of a composition.

Scottish bagpipes
for a fight.

Because... Why the Fuck Not?

IV) Guy Maddin
Likes Butts
And Blood
And Intense
(or how is it not?)

Realer than the 'real
thing slow and steady.

In a word:

And now,
if you'll excuse us,
we have a song of
two humans to attend to
as you chop your fish.

You know....


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