Review: The Quintessential Guy Maddin DVD

The Quintessential Guy Maddin DVD boxSTUDIO: Zeitgeist | DIRECTOR: Guy Maddin | CAST: Kyle McCulloch, Pascale Bussieres, Frank Gorshin, Darcy Fehr, Wei-Qiang Zhang
RELEASE DATE: 12/14/10 | PRICE: DVD $49.95
BONUSES: five commentaries, documentary, six shorts, three featurettes, interviews, more
SPECS: NR | 600 min. | Cult dramas and comedies| 1.33:1 fullscreen

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Sarah Neville shimmers in Careful (1992).

A quintet of feature films and a half-dozen shorts highlight The Quintessential Guy Maddin!, a four-disc collection from Zeitgeist that would make a fine holiday gift for any discerning art house movie fan of the inimitable Canadian auteur.

The films span 14 years, beginning with Maddin’s second feature film Archangel (1990), an early example of Maddin’s unique narrative and visual style, which impressively blends such styles as German expressionism, crackly/scratchy silent films, Soviet-style montage, romance-fueled Technicolor dramas and modern-day dream movies.

The DVD collection also houses 1992’s Careful (an impassioned melodrama served up as a Leni Riefenstahl-esque mountaineering adventure), 1997’s Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (a surreal, candy-colored tale about a failed romance on a mystical island) and the 2003 romantic horror movie Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary.

Just as the films and shorts (which include 2000’s six-minute masterpiece The Heart of the World) have all been previously released on DVD over the years, so have all the special features that can be found here. Still, it’s nice to have them all in one place.

What is new, though, is the inclusion of five one-sheet postcards representing each feature film and a fun peepshow-like package inspired by 2004’s autobiographical, hockey-themed Cowards Bend the Knee, the fifth and most recent of Maddin’s feature films in the collection.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.