Originally slated to start filming last year, Guy Maddin postponed his next feature film, "Keyhole," in order to do the National Film Board short film, "Night Mayor." With that project now all wrapped up and available online for viewing (you can check it out here), Maddin has turned his attention back to "Keyhole" and filming is already underway in Winnipeg.
This one kind of fell off our radar, but we're glad another (probably) quirky and enigmatic feature from the Canadian iconoclast is on the way, and as usual, he's lined up an interesting cast. Isabella Rossellini is back for her third film with the director following "Brand Upon The Brain" and "The Saddest Music In The World," while Jason Patric co-stars in the film. In an interview with the AV Club, "Kids In The Hall" member Kevin McDonald said he is also working on the film playing a "gangster who becomes a ghost," making it the second alumnus from the group to work with Maddin; Mark McKinney had a prominent role in "The Saddest Music In The World."
By all accounts, Maddin's next film should be a doozy. Last summer in a conversation with Isabella Rosellini for Bomb magazine, he asked the actress to join the film which he described as "a crime film about a family of gangsters holed up in a big house, but there’s been a fissure along gender lines and everyone trembles in fear and loathing within a house divided. In the backstory, you’d [Rosellini] be the adoptive mother of an Amazon warrior. I want to adapt Kleist’s Penthesilea of the ‘30s, an incredibly intense play about the literal battle of the sexes, between the armies of the ancient Greeks and the Amazons. The beautiful Penthesilea and Achilles hate each other so much they transmute the hatred into lust, naturally. They are constantly tearing away at each other’s flesh but don’t know why, or to what end, whether mortal or sexual. The lust is almost entomological...." Wow, ok. Well, we tracked down the official synopsis and while it's not quite what Maddin described, it's certainly unique in its own right:
A gangster and deadbeat father, Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric), returns home after a long absence. He is toting two teenagers: a drowned girl, Denny, who has mysteriously returned to life; and a bound-and-gagged hostage, who is actually his own teenage son, Manners. Confused Ulysses doesn't recognize his own son, but he feels with increasing conviction he must make an indoor odyssey from the back door of his home all the way up, one room at a time, to the marriage bedroom where his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) awaits. The movie is loosely based on Homer's "Odyssey," but with all the action transplanted indoors -- a domestic Odyssey across carpets and floors, into and out of rooms, instead of across the sea. Here in the old family home the film can poetically study the emotionally complex importance of the house, and all the memories that haunt every nook and cranny of our childhood domiciles.No word yet on release dates, but don't expect it to screen until 2011. Until then, can we get some set pics please? This sounds like it's going to be (as usual for Maddin) visually staggering.