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Guy Maddin
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dir. Guy Maddin / Canada 1992 / 100’
subtitles: Polish and English
retrospective: Guy Maddin


Kyle McCulloch, Gosia Dobrowolska, Sarah Neville, Paul Cox, Brent Neale, Victor Cowie, Michel O'Sullivan, Katya Gardner, Vince Rimmer, Jackie Burroughs, Ross McMillian, Leith Clark, Glen Hubich, Brendan Carruthers, George Toles

Film description

In Careful Maddin consistently refers to the kitschy aesthetics of German mountaineering films of the 1920s (although it's not Leni Riefenstahl playing the next super-mother by Maddin, this time this role is performed by Gosia Dobrowolska, well-known to spectators of ENH). This campy psychoanalytic melodrama is painted in fairytale colours, inspired by early films in Technicolor, especially On With the Show (1929) by Alan Crosland and King of Jazz (1930) by Paul Whiteman. Careful is filled with references to literature. Maddin draws from works by Robert Walser, Franz Kafka or Herman Melville. Critics described Careful as uniquely weird, subtly macabre, and utterly compelling (Time Out).

The title Careful is with inhabitants of a mountain village at every step. Careful, don't speak too loudly or you'll cause an avalanche (the inhabitants have even built an acoustic shelter where they can safely contemplate pseudo-Bavarian music). In Tolzbad, even the youngest children are taught carefulness and discipline. In this snowy and silent land carefulness is necessary in relations between boys and their mothers or girls and their fathers as well. The atmosphere seems to encourage strange incestuous desires, very difficult to fight. Mother's breasts are as tempting and dangerous as mountain peaks and one would risk an avalanche for a father's kiss.

Agata Rosochacka

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