Director Guy Maddin has created a loving tribute to the melodrama and excitement of early cinema, featuring kaleidoscopic film effects and episodic dreamlike sequences. Loosely framed by a funny how-to-use-a-bath training film – or a submarine crew in peril, or a woodsman saving a stolen woman from wolves, depending on how you look at it – the film hurtles from one surreal story to the next. Expect murder, mystery, the devil, duality of the self, poisonous skeletons, and much more. The woodsman’s tale (a fiery, strange turn from Roy Dupuis) is the most gripping and intelligible, although one’s concentration waned in the middle with a few weaker stories. Overall however the film is an exhilarating, messy, intoxicating spectacle.
Duke of York’s, 22 November 2015