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Guy Maddin
Born February 28, 1956 (1956-02-28) (age 54)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Occupation Film director, producer and screenwriter.

Guy Maddin, OM (born February 28, 1956) is a Canadian screenwriter and director of both features and short films from Winnipeg, Manitoba. His most distinctive quality is his penchant for recreating the look and style of silent or early sound era films which has solidified his popularity and acclaim in alternative film circles.



While Maddin strives to recreate the styles and moods of early film melodramas, Weimar Republic German silent films, and 1920s Soviet agit-prop, his own personal style lies in his use of clichés, psychosexual situations, bizarre stories and humor. Reminiscent of the early work of American director David Lynch, it is this self-conscious and surreal merging of early film-making techniques with a post-modern sensibility that give Maddin's films a style referred to as "Ultra-Conformist" or "Anti-Progressive". Assistance from provincial and national Arts Councils as well as the Winnipeg Film Group aid in Maddin's pursuit in the making of his films.

His film education came not with any formal training at a trade school, or his experiences at the University of Winnipeg, but with endless weekends of watching films with close friends John Paizs and Steve Snyder. Soon realizing that Paizs was making and performing in his own post-modern films and Snyder was teaching production at the University of Manitoba, Maddin eventually gave up an unsatisfying day-job as a bank-teller and decided that he needed to put his own knowledge to work and step behind the camera, in his case the popular Bolex hand-wound 16mm camera.

Maddin's first film was the Winnipeg Film Group assisted 1986 16mm short film The Dead Father. His first 16mm feature film was Tales from the Gimli Hospital.

In 2007, Maddin became the first artist-curator of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. In this position, he performs the programming for their new "Curated by..." series.[1]

As of fall 2007, Maddin will be teaching film at the University of Manitoba. Also in 2007, Maddin's film My Winnipeg won the Best Canadian Feature award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The haunting track used in the film is "Wonderful Winnipeg" by "The Swinging Strings" (vocal by Jim Wheeler) issued in 1967 on the Eagle Records label of Winnipeg. Super Oldies ( is issuing the track on an Eagle Records compilation CD in 2008.

Maddin's films are often set in his home town of Winnipeg and are usually set in abstract 20th century historical periods. Themes in Maddin's films frequently include unrequited love, murder, Soviet Russia, homoeroticism, incest, dismemberment and the workings of human impulse and subconscious.

Feature films

Year Title Other notes
1988 Tales from the Gimli Hospital
1990 Archangel
1992 Careful
1997 Twilight of the Ice Nymphs
2002 Dracula, Pages From a Virgin's Diary Silent
2003 Cowards Bend the Knee Silent
2003 The Saddest Music in the World
2006 Brand Upon the Brain! Silent
2007 My Winnipeg

Short films

  • Night Mayor (2009)[2]
  • Send Her to the Electric Chair (2009)
  • Glorious (2009)
  • Spanky: To the Pier and Back (2008)
  • Odin's Shield Maiden (2007)
  • Nude Caboose (2006)
  • My Dad Is 100 Years Old (2006) -- A portrait of Roberto Rossellini, where he is depicted as a giant pillow tummy. Starring his daughter Isabella Rossellini
  • Sissy Boy Slap Party (II)(2004) -- Included on the DVD of The Saddest Music in the World in R1.
  • Sombra Dolorosa (2004) -- Included on the DVD of The Saddest Music in the World in R1.
  • A Trip to the Orphanage(2004) -- Included on the DVD of The Saddest Music in the World in R1.
  • Fancy, Fancy Being Rich (2002)
  • The Heart of the World (2000)
  • Fleshpots of Antiquity (2000)
  • Hospital Fragment (1999)
  • Maldoror: Tygers (1998)
  • The Cock Crew or Love-Chaunt of the Chimney (1998)
  • The Hoyden or Idylls of Womanhood (1998)
  • Imperial Orgies or The Rabbi of Bacharach (1996)
  • The Hands of Ida (1995)
  • Sissy Boy Slap Party or The Coming Terror (1995)
  • Odilon Redon or The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity (1995, Toronto International Film Festival award winner)
  • Sea Beggars or The Weaker Sex (1994)
  • The Pomps of Satan (1993)
  • Indigo High-Hatters (1991)
  • Tyro (1990)
  • BBB (1989)
  • Mauve Decade (1989)
  • The Dead Father (1986)


External links

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