A fever dream within a dream, the latest transmission from celluloid fetishist Guy Maddin is part campy, whacked out tribute to vintage Hollywood melodrama, part anguished crypto-confessional, and all brilliant: a passionate, virtuoso pastiche that is also perversely original and sui generis. It’s the perfect date movie for film lovers - and replete with bathing tips!
American filmmaker Jon Jost is an uncompromising artist whose work stands apart not only from the Hollywood mainstream, but also from the off-Hollywood pseudo-independent sector. Jost has been remarkably prolific since switching from 35mm film to digital video in the late 90s - his website lists 20 feature length works in as many years. Distribution of this late work has been piecemeal at best, but judging by the two films we are screening this evening it deserves to be widely seen, enjoyed, and discussed. Both are narrative features, and even if Jost employs very different storytelling strategies from those we are used to these remain direct, accessible portraits of the emotional landscape in the American heartlands, distilled and dissected with singular clarity and insight. We are delighted to welcome Jon Jost to VIFF Vancity Theatre for these shows and acknowledge the support of Cineworks.
A man (played by avant garde filmmaker James Benning), father of two sons by two wives, calls his fractured family to his disheveled home. He informs them of his state of health, and requests their help in committing suicide. The film reveals the impact on the family as they confront their father/husband. The means by which this evoked is visual and poetic, expressed tonally rather than as plot.