In honour of the great news that a print of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis has been discovered containing scenes long-believed to have been lost, here’s a link to my favourite Guy Maddin film, The Heart of the World. Maddin’s short is six minutes of frenetic genius which references Metropolis in passing although it owes far more to Expressionist cinema and the avant garde propaganda works of Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov and others. I like Maddin’s films a lot, especially the luxuriantly camp Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, but sometimes his eccentricities can be overbearing at feature length. Heart of the World by contrast is just perfect.
YouTube has a few other Maddin shorts including his BBC-commissioned The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (1995), based on a picture by Symbolist artist Odilon Redon. Also the long version of Sissy Boy Slap Party from the same year, which comes across as a crazy blend of South Pacific outtakes, Fassinbinder’s Querelle and Martin Denny exotica, in a style as frenetic as Heart of the World. Hilarious and homoerotic in equal measure.
• I cast Ann Savage as my mother | Guy Maddin on his new film, My Winnepeg