Collage is a comfortable medium for Guy Maddin to engage in his art making, being a technique he readily acknowledges in filmmaking. From his first films he has turned his avid magpie’s eye to the work of early filmmakers like Abel Gance, Josef Von Sternberg, Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Bunuel, George Melies and the American Busby Berkeley, moving evenly among German Expressionism, Soviet montage and ’30s musicals. Clipping, borrowing, reassembling and layering are as apparent in his films as they are in the paper collage works he began to make under the tutelage of Winnipeg artist Paul Butler, the founder of the noted Collage Parties. Using pre-existing elements proved no impediment to Maddin’s fertile, florid, and sometimes lurid imagination. Culled from old books and magazines purchased by the pound or donated by friends emptying their attics, the resulting collages are at once psychoanalytic sites and oddly documentary representations of a rich visual life nourished by literature, art and music as well as films. Everything in Maddin’s prodigious body of work is the product and progenitor of this mythic place, Winnipeg.
Guy Maddin is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker. He has directed 10 feature-length films including the cult-classics, Tales from the Gimli Hospital, 1988 and Archangel, 1990, which won the National Film Critics Award for the Best Experimental Film in that year. He has also directed numerous short films. Maddin’s many awards include the Telluride Silver Medal in 1995, an Emmy for his ballet movie, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary, and the Toronto International Film Festival City tv Prize for the Best Canadian Feature. Guy Maddin film retrospectives and festivals have been held internationally and most recently he was a jury member for the Berlin Film Festival. His newest feature, Keyhole, will be released in 2011. He is also an artist, writer and teacher and holds the position of Distinguished Filmmaker in Residence at the University of Manitoba.