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(Review originally written at 25 August 2010)

As strange and surreal as this movie is, I just love it. Shockingly enough I seem to be quite fond of this strange, art-house type of movies.

It's a very surreal movie, that is shot in 1920's/1930's style. It means that the entire movie is black & white and even old fashioned looking, with all of its sets, costumes and make-up effects but also its style of acting and the way some scene's are being set up and executed. It's also a throwback to old European surreal and more stylish type of movies, from the '50's and '60's. Movies that were not just style over substance but also ones that had a good effective story in it, no matter how well it got hidden all underneath its surreal images and strange moments.

And yes, this movie as well has a very strange but fascinating story, set at a strange hospital, about patients with a strange disease, in a strange time, in a strange far off place. It's apparently set in Gimli, Canada, which is also know as the capital of New Iceland, despite it being a very small town. It also explains some of the strange Scandinavian names and accents the characters have.

If you just happen to stumble upon this movie somewhere and decide to watch it, without knowing anything about it, you would not believe that this movie got actually released in 1988. It's that good looking in its very old fashioned way. It's amazing the amount of detail they spend on this movie and director and writer Guy Maddin truly managed to capture an unique, old fashioned, grainy type of atmosphere. But it's also thanks to the casting of some old fashioned type of looking persons, that makes the movie and its story work out convincing as an old one.

Clearly, it's a movie that will not appeal to every person and some mind find it just a bit too strange and not fascinating enough. This movie is really a matter of taste, more than anything else but if you're fond of some surreal type of films (like David Lynch movies), European type of old films (lets say Ingmar Bergman type of movies), or some of the movies from the 1920's and 1930's, this movie is really worth a watch and changes are you might end up really liking it.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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