Movie Blog @ MSPIFF, Day 19: ‘Keyhole’

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The latest film from Canadian treasure Guy Maddin is a handmade masterpiece.

Like most of his previous films, Keyhole is pretty bizarre, visually beguiling, and features Isabella Rosselini and a member of the beloved comedy troupe The Kids In The Hall. Oh, and it’s really, truly bizarre.

Keyhole is Maddin’s idiosyncratic take on The Odyssey, complete with a touch that’s even unusual for Maddin – a proper leading man. Jason Patric plays the gangster Ulysses, who returns to his family home in search of his wife Hyacinth (Rosselini). But as Ulysses searches room to room for her in nightmarish vain, he must deal with his own angry goons, backstabbing family members (living and dead), and a very, very naked elderly man.

Jason Patric is perfectly cast as the wandering gangster, and is revelatory in Maddin’s gorgeous black and white. Most importantly, Patric seems perfectly at home in this experimental and miles-from-mainstream cinematic world.

Maddin’s typical style, which seems like a post-modern spin on silent-era cinema, is largely absent in Keyhole. Besides his usually painstaking, feverish and virtuosic editing, Keyhole is, visually, a spot-on film noir.

And I hate to say it, but it’s Maddin at his most David Lynchiest – down to the half-dissolves of shadowy haze, unnerving sound design, and frequent collaborator Rosselini. But make no mistake – Keyhole is pure, maddening Maddin.

If gorgeous, twirling nightmares are your thing (and you can stomach artfully filmed full-frontal elderly nudity), check out Keyhole tonight at 9 p.m.!

Other Highlights: Friday, April 27

The Last Dogs of Winter. This documentary takes a look at the long hard road sled dogs face. (4:45 p.m.)

Play involves Swedish teenage thieves, and was well received at this years Cannes Film Fest. (9:15 p.m.)

Nancy, Please is about a man’s quest to retrieve a beloved book from the clutches of a nasty ex-roommate. (7 p.m.)

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For the festival schedule, and a complete listing of all the movies being shown, click here. Ticket information is available here.

For more of the WCCO Movie Blog’s coverage on the MSPIFF, click here.

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