The Joie of Guy, or To the Lighthouse
"I would love to be a poet, but it’s not in me, so I’m this other thing, whatever that is." —Guy Maddin
On the spur of the moment I caught Guy Maddin's epic Brand Upon the Brain! last night, as narrated by Joie Lee. It was great! She did an amazing job! Maddin uses as many exclamation points as Keeler!
I would write down some choice quotes but I had only two-thirds of one side of one sheet of paper and a small dull golf pencil = I can't read anything!
It's set on an island where "Guy Maddin"'s very strange parents run a mom-and-pop orphanage...in a lighthouse...and their charges have mysterious marks on the backs of their heads...and the harp-playing Wendy Hale, part of a brother-sister detective team, is investigating...all of this done with hysterical (often three exclamation points) title cards...and live sound effects: a heap of unspooled cassette tape simulated the wind through long grass, egg cartons and celery were put to creative use, the doors were done with a door...
Poetry nuts will want to hear John Ashbery's narration tomorrow at 7, though something tells me tickets will be scarce. (Last night's later show, with Crispin Glover, was sold out.) Next best thing is to read "Plenty of Sublimated Rin Tin Tin," the Jdawg's excellent interview with Guy about Ashbery, over at the Poetry Foundation site.
If we're talking Ashbery, I found the texture of much of the Brand! text sort of Nest of Ninnies/Girls on the Run–ish. And if we're talking other things, there's a dollop of Feuillade (one of the detectives always "goes formal!" when s/he's doing undercover work) and a bit of eXistenZ (weird orifice stuff). But first and foremost it's...Guy Maddin!
(For further reading/links, here's an earlier Maddining post.)
UPDATE: From the PTSNBN...back in the glory days of D. Lim's editorship...here's GM's "production diary" from The Saddest Music in the World:
For years, I've been meaning to put into practice my Anatomy of Melancholy approach to directing. And now I finally get to! Having already copied out on index cards various descriptions of depression gleaned from Burton's ancient tomes, as well as some 40 synonyms for sadness culled from a thesaurus, I now start each day by dealing out all 52 cards, face down, on the breakfast table full of actors who are to work that day. Each performer has a different, sometimes fuzzy idea of a word's meaning—for instance, lugubrious or throboxyc, which is sadder? Actors love restrictions, and why not restrict them in the only fair way possible: with a lottery windfall of commands drawn randomly from a reference book?