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KEYHOLE

Director: GUY MADDIN

94 minutes, Canada, 2011, Black and White, D-Cinema


Canadian auteur Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg) returns with a typically idiosyncratic blend of ghost story, Greek mythology, and nods to film history. Mischievously described as his first attempt at “pure narrative filmmaking” and informed by The Odyssey’s Wikipedia page, it’s a haunted house tale like no other as gangster Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) arrives home after a lengthy absence with a drowned girl on his back. While his gang waits downstairs, discussing changes to leadership and interior decor, Ulysses wanders the mysteriously labyrinthine house in search of his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini), accompanied by the now revivified girl and a son he doesn’t recognise. Meanwhile, Hyacinth retreats as Ulysses advances, kept company by her father, who is chained naked to her bed.

Attempts to summarise the film fail to give its true flavour; Maddin is a true original, and Keyhole is as stylistically impressive, narratively intriguing, and playfully witty as one would expect from this singular filmmaker. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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