The Saddest Music in the World Guy Maddin

The Saddest Music in the World Guy Maddin
The Saddest Music in the World is kind of like a dinner guest whom you find relentlessly charming, wanting to hang on his every word, yet you're looking forward to when he goes home so you can try to assimilate the evening, or at least catch your breath. Guy Maddin's gauzy, crackly, hyper-ridiculous dream world is stunning: Mark McKinney, who has finally come into his own as a confident and collected actor (somehow managing to play both the goofball and the straight man all at once), is perfectly cast as Chester, a washed-up, silver-tongued devil. McKinney is paired nicely with the surprisingly feisty Isabella Rossellini (where did she come from!?) as his amputated ex-lover in charge of a contest to award $25,000 of her brewery's money to those who can present her with "the saddest music in the world." Some will quaver at the film's sensory barrage overload: the concept is high, the tongue is just about to bore a hole through the cheek and the plot often seems to be little more than a thin icy pond for Maddin's dizzying absurdity to quickly skate across. But as a movie, and even almost as a poem, The Saddest Music in the World is a flight of surrealist wonder, saucily paying homage to decades of cinematic convention and notions of what it is to be Canadian while gleefully taking the piss throughout. Plentiful and indulgent (is it any surprise?) extras include commentary, a "making of" and three of Maddin's shorts (including the popular "Sissy Boy Slap Party"). (TVA)