Playing with Memories: Essays on Guy Maddin (University of Manitoba Press, 2009)

Playing with Memories is the first collection of scholarly essays on the work of internationally acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin. It offers extensive perspectives on his career to date, from the early experimentation of The Dead Father (1986) to the intensely intimate revelations of My Winnipeg (2007). Featuring new and updated essays from American, Canadian, and Australian scholars, collaborators, and critics, as well as an in-depth interview with Maddin, this collection explores the aesthetics and politics behind Maddin’s work, firmly situating his films within ongoing cultural debates about postmodernism, genre, and national identity.


Geoff Pevere


Bark Fish Appreciation: An Introduction

David Church


My Brother’s Keeper: Fraternal Relations in the Films of Guy Maddin

Donald Masterson


Guy Maddin: True to Form

Geoff Pevere


Reinhabiting Lost Languages: Guy Maddin’s Careful

Will Straw


Fire and Ice: The Films of Guy Maddin

Steven Shaviro


Maddin and Melodrama

William Beard


Thoroughly Modern Maddin

David L. Pike


Sexuality and Self in the Guy Maddin Vision

Stephen Snyder


The Heart of His World: Emotional Immediacy and Distance in the Films of Guy Maddin

Carl Matheson


From Archangel to Mandragora in Your Own Backyard: Collaborating with Guy Maddin

George Toles


Guy Maddin’s Dracula: Virgins, Vampires, and the “Theatre Film”

Milan Pribisic


Demented Enchantments: Maddin’s Dis-eased Heart

Dana Cooley


Desire in Bondage: Guy Maddin’s Careful

Darrell Varga


Hit with a Wrecking Ball, Tickled with a Feather: Gesture, Deixis, and the Baroque Cinema of Guy Maddin

Saige Walton


“I’m Not an American; I’m a Nymphomaniac”: Perverting the Nation in Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in The World

Lee Easton and Kelly Hewson


Conversations with Guy Maddin

William Beard


“David Church has compiled the first-ever collection of scholarly writings on various Maddin films. […] Church’s volume offers insights by scholars from the United States, Canada, and Australia, making it an international collection. That so many American film scholars have contributed to the book is indicative of Maddin’s stature in contemporary filmmaking.”

--Great Plains Quarterly

“On one hand, because Maddin is such a good interview subject (funny, irreverent, brimming with arcane information), it comes as no surprise to discover that all of the sixteen essays included in this book are highly readable. What’s more, they cover virtually everything essential to the man’s oeuvre (with the curious exception of his repeated borrowings from silent Scandinavian cinema). On the other hand, precisely because he is such a frank, seemingly open interview subject, if there was anything Maddin did feel like hiding from the world, he would be ideally situated to do just that.”

--Canadian Literature

“This is an interesting, quite readable, and valuable collection of essays. The essays trace the gradual development of Maddin’s work, films marked not only by a set of recurrent themes and obsessions—sex, death, and violence—but also explorations of memory, distortion, and unyielding sadness."

--American Review of Canadian Studies

Playing with Memories is a handy compendium of reflections on 'vision' and thematic preoccupations, with some close readings of particular films.”

--Literary Review of Canada


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