Guy Maddin

Canada 70 min Fiction


Guy Maddin’s feature length debut is a story within a story based on the oral legends of his Icelandic ancestors. Originally titled Gimli Saga and filmed using what would become his trademark camera, the 16 mm Bolex, the Canadian’s first film unleashes his passion for silent movies and the aesthetic style of two of his greatest influences: F. W. Murnau and Robert Wiene. The movie opens with a pair of children beside their mother’s death bed as her dying words tell the tale of the travels of the unfortunate Einar, a fisherman who goes to a clinic after catching the plague that is infesting the region and that leaves strange scars on the patients’ skin. The centre is nothing like the kind of hospital we might imagine, but is run by a group of femme fatale nurses, the object of his desire but also his rivalry with his companion Gunnar. The hate between the two increases as the atmosphere in this gloomy place grows more and more oppressive and dangerous. 


Guy Maddin

(Winnipeg, 1956) He studied economics at the University of Winnipeg. Maddin is an installation artist, screenwriter, cinematographer and filmmaker. He has also mounted numerous live performance versions of his films around the world, featuring live music, sound effects, singing and narration. Since 2011 he has collaborated with Galen Johnson and Evan Johnson under the banner of Development Ltd., their Winnipeg-based filmmaking collective.

Filmography: The Green Fog (2017), Accidence (2017), Seances (2016), Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (2015, D'A 2016), The Forbidden Room (2015, D'A 2015) Keyhole (2011), My Winnipeg (2007, D'A 2011), Brand Upon the Brain! (2006, D'A 2011), The Saddest Music in the World (2003, D'A 2011), Dracula, Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002, D'A 2011), Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997, D'A 2011), Archangel (1990, D'A 2011)

Guy Maddin

Film information

Director: Guy Maddin
Script: Guy Maddin
Contact: Winnipeg Film Group
With: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gottli, Angela Heck, Margaret Anne MacLeod, Heather Neale
Country: Canada
Year: 1988
Format: Digital
Length: 70 min
Edition: 2011