Guy Maddin started making films in his back yard and on his kitchen table. Now his unique work, which relies heavily on such archaic means as black and white small-format cinematography and silent-film storytelling, premieres at major film festivals around the world and is avidly discussed in the critical press. Into the Past provides a complete and systematic critical commentary on each of Maddin's feature films and shorts, from his 1986 debut film The Dead Father through to his highly successful 2008 full-length 'docu-fantasia' My Winnipeg.
William Beard's extensive analysis of Maddin's narrative and aesthetic strategies, themes, influences, and underlying issues also examines the origins and production history of each film. Each of Maddin's projects and collaborations showcase his gradual evolution as a filmmaker and his singular development of narrative forms. Beard's close readings of these films illuminate, among other things, the profound ways in which Maddin's art is founded in the past - both in the cultural past, and in his personal memory.
About the author
William Beard is a professor and film studies program director in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.
'To use a culinary metaphor, Into the Past is a grand entrée on which the chef has expanded a deal of thought and time. In terms of Maddin's work, Beard is the master chef and Into the Past his pièce de résistance.'
Great Plains Quarterly, Spring 2011
Into the Past is an impressive in-depth look at all of the major works in the Maddin inventory and more than a glance at almost everything else Maddin has ever produced. This immaculate achievement comprises a close set of readings and analysis that could only have been driven by a scholar happily lost in the funhouse of the material.
Noreen Golfman, <em>Literary Review of Canada</em>