Guy Maddin, is a Canadian screenwriter, director, author, cinematographer, and film editor of both features and short films, as well as an installation artist, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since completing his first film in 1985, Maddin has become one of Canada's most well-known and celebrated filmmakers.Maddin has directed twelve feature films and numerous short films, in addition to publishing three books and creating a host of installation art projects. A number of Maddin's recent films began as or developed from installation art projects, and his books also relate to his film work. Maddin is known for his fascination with lost Silent-era films and for incorporating their aesthetics into his own work. Maddin has been the subject of much critical praise and academic attention, including two books of interviews with Maddin and two book-length academic studies of his work. Maddin was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour, in 2012.Maddin first served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University's Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies in 2015. Until then, he had always lived in Winnipeg.
Guy Maddin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Herdis Maddin (a hairdresser) and Charles "Chas" Maddin (grain clerk and general manager of the Maroons, a Winnipeg hockey team). Maddin has three older siblings: Ross (b. 1944), Cameron (1946–63), and Janet (b. 1949). Maddin attended Winnipeg public schools— the Greenway School (elementary school), General Wolfe (junior high school), and the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute (high school).Maddin's early life was marked by tragedy—in February 1963, his brother Cameron killed himself on the grave of his girlfriend, who had died in a car accident. Maddin studied economics at the University of Winnipeg, graduating in 1977 without a plan to become a filmmaker. That same year, Maddin's father died suddenly after a stroke, and Maddin married Martha Jane Waugh. Their daughter, Jilian, was born in 1978, and Maddin and Waugh divorced in 1979.After graduating, Maddin held a variety of odd jobs, including bank manager, house painter, and photo archivist. Maddin began to take film classes at the University of Manitoba. There, Maddin met film professor Stephen Snyder, who held regular film screenings of titles from the school's film library at his home. Maddin attended, as did some early collaborators, including his friend John Boles Harvie, the future star of Maddin's first film, and filmmaker John Paizs. Maddin appeared as an actor in two of Paizs' short films, as a student in Oak, Ivy, and Other Dead Elms (1982) and as a transvestite, homicidal nurse in The International Style (1983). Maddin drew early inspiration from the films of John Paizs, as well as experimental shorts by Stephen Snyder. Other early influences included L'Age d'Or by Luis Buñuel (in collaboration with Salvador Dalí) and Eraserhead by David Lynch. Maddin has stated that these films, along with the work of Paizs and Snyder, "were movies that were primitive in many respects. They were low budget, they used nonactors or nonstars, they used atmospheres and ideas, and were unbelievably honest, frank, and, therefore, exciting to me. They made moviemaking seem possible to me." Maddin also met film professor George Toles, who became Maddin's cowriter on many of his future films. Maddin's core group of friends from this period, who played various roles in the production of his early film projects, were known as "the Drones" and included Harvie, Ian Handford, and Kyle McCulloch (now a writer for South Park).Maddin joined the Winnipeg Film Group around this time, and also became friends with producer Greg Klymkiw, with whom he began making a cable access television show, Survival (c. 1985–87). Survival was a satirical talk show centred around, as its opening credits noted, how "we must survive the inevitable social/economic collapse and/or nuclear holocaust." The show became a cult hit in Winnipeg and excerpts were re-released on the compilation DVD Winnipeg Babysitter. Maddin plays a masked character on the show named "Concerned Citizen Stan."
Movies & TV shows
The Rabbit Hunters
A dead filmmaker experiences a dream in which he is unable to reconcile with his wife because of obstacles from his past. A short film was made in honor of Fellini.
Stump the Guesser
After a bad day at work, a fairground performer sets out to disprove the theory of heredity so that he can marry his sister.
There is a murder on a balcony. There are many balconies attached to a large apartment block. Strange things are happening on the loop. The murder is unimportant as the eye attempts to take them all i...
The Green Fog
A tribute to a fascinating film shot by Alfred Hitchcock in 1958, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, and to the city of San Francisco, California, where the magic was created; but also a challenge:...
A dream-inspired stream-of-consciousness download charting the trace infection lines Trump’s presence provokes in the minds of many.
Tales from the Winnipeg Film Group
The explosive story of how a stubborn band of independent filmmakers started a film co-operative that became the most highly respected and mythologized film centre in Canada. Tales outlines the tremen...
A new way of experiencing film narrative has been created by the National Film Board of Canada and Seances. There are hundreds of thousands of new stories created by code. The audience will only have ...
The Amazed Spectator
A kino-investigation about spectatorship, a continuous conversation between different kinds of spectators: which one is more cinema: Citizen Kane on a mobile phone or a football game projected in a ci...
Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton
Guided by the spirit of “The Cuadecuc Manifesto” (coined by co-director Evan Johnson and inspired by Pere Portabella’s 1970 experimental cult documentary, Cuadecuc, vampir), Bring Me the Head of Tim H...
The Forbidden Room
A submarine crew, a feared pack of forest bandits, a famous surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for as they move toward progressive ideas on life and love.
The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin
Guy Maddin is one of the last remaining Magi of cinema. Despite living in the middle of the digital age, this heretical director hailing from the snowy plains of Canada has spent 25 years transposing ...
Lines of the Hand
An adaptation of a script by Jean Vigo, starring his late daughter, critic, programmer, and actress.
Once a Chicken
The students at Béla Tarr's film factory made the adaptation of Once a Chicken.
Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin wrote a short film.
Louis Riel for Dinner
Guy Maddin narrates an animated tribute to the freedom fighter and founder of the province of Manitoba.
Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson wrote a short film.
The Hall Runner
A three minute segment featuring the titular item
The short was produced for the release of Guy Maddin's 'My Winnipeg'.
Evan Johnson, who is co-director on The Forbidden Room, presents four visuals essays, ranging from one and a half to four minutes in length, each representing a visual exploration of a specific theme....
Only Dream Things
Only Dream Things was part of an installation for the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. There is an assortment of Guy Maddin's own home films from his own youth with many paint on film te...
Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair
A woman is sent to a chair that reads her mind.
The Little White Cloud That Cried
The Little White Cloud That Cried, made in tribute to underground filmmaker Jack Smith, and described as: “Goddesses unharnessing the power of the sea and putting it into a whole new element as they e...
How to Take a Bath
Legendary poet John Ashbery scripted this absurdist step-by-step guide to bathing, excerpted from Guy Maddin's feature THE FORBIDDEN ROOM and restored to its original form as a stand-alone film.
Experiments in Terror 3
The Psychotic Odyssey of Richard Chase is one of the shorts in this collection. Guy Maddin and Marie Losier collaborated with Mike Kuchar on a novel called Born of the Wind. The short It Gets Worse wa...
Bosnian immigrant Nihad Ademi conceived of a way to harness the power of the Aurora Borealis in order to broadcast imagery of his adopted land from coast to coast to coast.
It Came from Kuchar
The Kuchar brothers are the subject of a documentary. George and Mike Kuchar inspired two generations of filmmakers, actors, musicians, and artists.
It's My Mother's Birthday Today
The short film was directed by Guy Maddin and was about Dov Houle, who performed on tour with the film "Brand Upon the Brain!"
The sound effects for Maddin's film "Brand Upon the Brain" were revealed in a short documentary.
Death of the Reel
Guy Maddin tried to save cinema by flying to Kansas City, Missouri.
97 Percent True
Interviews with Guy Madden and his team.
A story about a family.
Spanky: To the Pier and Back
Guy Maddin takes his dog for a walk at the lake.
A woman with an oddly hairy belly gives birth to a pair of hands in Marie Losier's giddily inventive "portrait" of Guy Maddin, done as a collaboration between the two iconoclasts. Losier, best known f...
Brand Upon the Brain!
In the weird and wonderful supercinematic world of Canadian cult filmmaker Guy Maddin, personal memory collides with movie lore for a radical sensory overload. There is a silent, black-and-white comic...
The viewer is sent off to sleep with this 9 minute descent into the netherworld.
Fact, fantasy and memory are woven together in a personal portrait of Guy Maddin's hometown.
A shirtless man tries to rouse a group of dancers. When his highjinks get the deadbeats bustin' out, something unusual catches his eye. A fateful moment was distilled into a dance floor seduction.
My Dad Is 100 Years Old
There is a tribute to the father.
Guy Maddin has previously released previously undiscovered material.
The same image pile is used for both Chimney and Rooster. A man seems to be obsessed with or obsessed by the chimney in the "tunnel" in Rooster Workbook.
Ignorant armies of sketchy people clashing by night continued.
Ignorant armies of sketchy people clashing by night.
Guy Maddin made a short film.
A Trip to the Orphanage
While an opera singers sings in a snowy and cold street, we can witness a meeting between a man and a woman through blowing net curtains. The emotions of the characters are no different than the music...
Paramo lost her husband in the plague. El Muerto prepared himself to welcome her into the darkness when she contemplated suicide. If Paramo wants to save her husband and daughter, she must beat Death ...
Sailors on an island paradise seem to have no worries of war or danger until a playful gesture is interpreted as an act of aggression. The orgy of open-palmed face-smacking soon becomes the innocent a...
Cowards Bend the Knee
Guy Maddin and his girlfriend go to a seedy abortion clinic in the back room of a hair salon and fall in love. She won't allow anyone to touch her until her father's murderer is brought to justice.
The Saddest Music in the World
A beer baroness in Depression-era Winnipeg offers a grand prize of $25,000 for the saddest music in the world.
Fancy, Fancy Being Rich
There is a short television show.
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary
The ballet's adaptation of a gothic novel was made into a movie. Filmed in a style reminiscent of silent Expressionist cinema of the early 20th century, it uses dance to tell the story of a sinister b...
The images were inspired by "Tales From the Gimli Hospital".
A Toronto filmmaker is Alan Zweig.
In an attempt to bring about the end of the world, a medieval cult travels to the 20th centrury and kills people. The policeman has to stop them, but what does his fate hold?
The Heart of the World
A race to save the world from a fatal heart attack is contrasted against a love rivalry between two brothers and an actor playing Christ for the heart of a scientist studying the earth's core.
A story about lust and bestiality in a zoo. Delmas, the zookeeper, is obsessed with a strange carrion-creature, while his daughter makes desperate attempts to be noticed. It ends badly, with the creat...
Guy Maddin: Waiting for Twilight
Interviews with Guy Maddin and his pals are included in this documentary about the Canadian film-maker's life and movies. Features clips from most of Maddin's films up to Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, i...
A surreal short film featuring a zookeeper with a large moustache.
Twilight of the Ice Nymphs
After years as a political prisoner, Peter Glahn was released and returned to his homeland of Mandragora, where the sun never sets. He met the woman who stole his heart on the ship home. He goes to th...
A sexually-charged short film which includes images of roosters and women.
Odilon Redon or The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity
A father and son rescue a person.
The Hands of Ida
Guy Maddin directed the movie. It was rumored to have been destroyed in a black magic ceremony.
In the remote Alpine village of Tolzbad at the turn of the century, people talk quietly and restrain their movements lest avalanches come and kill them. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emoti...
Tales from the Gimli Hospital
While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told an important tale by their grandmother about Ainar the lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the angel in the G...
The International Style
There is a lot of '60s spy thrillers and other classics. Nick, a super secret agent, is trying to free a top secret chip from the clutches of a multimillionaire. The jet set, the Cold War and Jean-Pau...
Oak, Ivy, and Other Dead Elms
Brock West, a journalist and rocker, and Nick, Paizs' silent hero, meet at college. Nick becomes involved in attempts to restore old campus hangout and the dirty political tricks swirling a hard fough...
CLIFF: A PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST
A Canadian artist looks back on his life after a double lung transplant.
The Cock Crew
The scene is a small paper-manufacturing factory presided over by the shiftless Ari and his long-suffering wife Taryn. Helen is one of the employees who work at the vats. Taryn was offered a rooster b...