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Guy Maddin
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27th JULY, 19:15
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28th JULY, 22:00
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31th JULY, 10:15
Helios 9
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Cowards Bend the Knee
dir. Guy Maddin / Canada 2003 / 60’
subtitles: Polish and English
retrospective: Guy Maddin

Cast

Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart, Tara Birtwhistle, Luis Negin

Film description

The sperm cells observed under the microscope are hockey players and one of them is Guy. A beauty parlour transforms into a brothel at night, and abortions are performed at the back. Faked amputation of hands, replaced by blue ones starts a series of murders... 10 chapters of Cowards Bend the Knee were made as a series of installations (initially planned for one minute each), commissioned by the Power Plant gallery in Toronto. These were the origins of a film, which is an excellent introduction to Maddin's fragmented and yet coherent style. This is my autobiography as reflected in a shattered mirror.

Maddin always associates identity with memory, but this memory does not pretend to be linear and coherent. On the contrary, it is subjected to the logic of obsessions, constant repetition of same, essential moments. This memory relies on amnesia of coherence, it is a remembrance of dreams and overheard stories, a memory of smells and tiny objects.

In Maddin's films, the body is not uniform either, it doesn't exactly belong to its owner, being artificial, lame, grotesquely discontinuous in its organic aspect. Amputations, prostheses, put out or burnt out eyes, a dead body refusing to disappear. In Maddin's works, the body falls into pieces, and becomes both loathsome and thrilling as a fetish. The monsterly body is used as an object of sexual fascination, food, or as a medium for satisfying the desire to kill, as in the Cowards.

Agata Rosochacka

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