Tag Archives: guy maddin

Hi4H’s 2014 Year In Review

Hi4H 2014 Montage

2014 was a pretty great year for Hell Is For Hyphenates. We reached our 50th episode, we had our first ever live show at the Sydney Film Festival, we landed guests such as Lynn Shelton and Joe Swanberg, and, most importantly, we started this blog.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to take stock, and make some lists that isn't the traditional “Best Of” (those will come later). Please feel free to chime in with your own answers in the comments.

Top five Hi4H film discoveries (that you hadn't seen before)?

Paul: The Long Goodbye (1973, Altman - I'm restricting myself to one film per filmmaker, so just know I could've easily filled this list with Altmans: California Split and HealtH chief among them), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953, Tati), An Unmarried Woman (1978, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Subway (1985, Besson).

Lee: I'm also gonna limit it to one per filmmaker to keep things slightly easier. Images (1972, Altman), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002, Maddin), Beau Travail (1999, Denis).

Which new filmmakers to emerge in 2014 are you most excited about?

Paul: Can't I just say “Xavier Dolan” five times? No? Okay. But Xavier Dolan is my clear #1 here. While he's been making films since 2009, I saw four of his five features - two of which were premieres - in 2014. A preternatural wunderkind who brings a unique blend of social realism, melodrama and bold cinematic style to bear, with uncommon power and moxie. Ana Lily Amirpour (just for being supercool and singular of vision), Jennifer Kent (for bringing a dramatic, thematic approach back to horror), Damien Chazelle (while Whiplash blew others away more than me, there was an uncommon command of craft - and an interesting voice - I'm keen to see more of), Joe & Anthony Russo: with one film, these frequent sitcom directors managed to single-handedly restore my faith in the Marvel Studios model.

Lee: So, so many. Gillian Rospierre (Obvious Child), Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Charlie McDowell (The One I Love), Lake Bell (In a World…), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays). I'm excited about what everyone in this group will make next.

Five filmmakers you'd like to see us cover on the show?

Paul: Because they're Masters: Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Howard Hawks, Mario Bava. Because I want to examine their career in context: John Carpenter.

Lee: I'm gonna eschew the obvious names (Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick), because they are givens, and go with Kenji Mizoguchi, Agnès Varda, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alexandr Sokurov, Douglas Sirk. Is that a bit of a pretentious list? If so, replace one of those names with, I don't know, Brett Ratner. Or, better yet, don't.

Given we're an Australian show, what were your favourite Australian films of the year?

Paul: 1) Cut Snake; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) The Babadook; 5) The Infinite Man.

Lee: 1) The Babadook; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) Charlie’s Country; 5) Canopy. The fact that this list was so difficult to curate speaks to what a great year it was for Australian cinema.

Most Anticipated Films of 2015?

Paul: 1) The Hateful Eight (was there ever any doubt??); 2) Inherent Vice; 3) Tomorrowland; 4) Foxcatcher; 5) Serial Season 2… oh, it has to be films? Okay… Mad Max: Fury Road.

Lee: 1) Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice; 2) Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron; 3) Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight; 4) Todd Haynes' Carol; 5) Martin Scorsese's Silence.

Thank you all for listening this year. We hope you enjoyed it, and we hope you enjoy everything to come in 2015. We have some big plans we can't wait to tell you about.

Big thanks to everyone who helped us out over the year, from our guests to the good people at the Sydney Film Festival, and everyone who loaned us the DVDs and autobiographies we needed for research. Huge thanks to our loyal artist Caroline McCurdy, who did all of our amazing artwork and design.

In the meantime, 2014 isn't done yet! We have our final show for 2014 coming out on the morning of December 31, featuring Richard Watts talking about the films of Gregg Araki, so make sure you kick off your New Year's Eve plans with our latest show!


Discovering Maddin

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On the most recent show, I mentioned that there was actual video footage of me discovering Guy Maddin on The Bazura Project. So if anyone's interested in seeing this momentous happening, here's the clip from 5 July 2007:

And while we're here, here's our review of Brand Upon the Brain from 9 August 2007 after it played at the Melbourne International Film Festival:

Inch on Maddin

Inch on Maddin
Hayley Inch (left) and her filmmaker of the month Guy Maddin (right)

Sounds like the sort of catchphrase or motivational slogan that is just odd enough to appear in a Guy Maddin film, doesn't it? “Inch on, Maddin! Inch on!”

The wonderful Hayley Inch was our guest this month, talking about her one true passion: Guy Maddin. Actually, being a true film buff after our own hearts, Hayley has many cinematic passions, but her love of Maddin is unparalleled. Whether you know Maddin's work or have never heard of him before, you've really got to hear Hayley waxing lyrical about what makes him so great.

This episode also marks the return of the mini-Hyphenate segment, where we take a filmmaker who may not have made enough movies to qualify for the main stage (we have a loose five-or-more rule in place), and discuss them in the mid-section of the show. This month we've gone with Jacques Tati who made five features, one telemovie, and a bunch of shorts. Okay, so we're stretching the rules a little to include him, but given Madman Entertainment just released a beautiful restored edition of his works, it felt like the perfect time.

There's rarely a rhyme or reason to the pairing of mini-Hyphenate with the guest's pick, but as we discussed their works, a connection emerged: both Tati and Maddin continued the tradition of silent films in very different ways. There aren't many filmmakers who so forcefully use the pre-sound era as inspiration the way these two have, albeit in completely different ways.

We say this every month, but this really is a great episode. We talk Gone Girl, Force Majeure, Obvious Child and Whiplash, delve into Tati, and explore Maddin all in one hour. Plus, one of us actually leaves the room at one point! Who leaves and why? You'll only find out the answer by listening to this month's show.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – October 2014

Hayley Inch, film programmer and writer, joins the Hyphenates for October 2014 as we look back at the month’s key releases, discuss the films of French auteur Jacques Tati, and delve into the unique works of Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin.

The Guy Maddin Cheat Sheet

Guy Maddin

Want to be knowledgeable about our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: a suggested double that will make you an insta-expert in the director we're about to discuss…

GM Films


Guy Maddin has a style unlike any other filmmaker working today. Imagine an MTV music video director got sent back in time to the silent era, and you’ll have a good starting point to appreciate what it is he does. He is even more prolific as a director of short films than as a director of feature films, so we suggest a double that mixes the two. The Heart of the World is only six minutes long, but it's the perfect film if you want to understand what makes Maddin tick. Meanwhile, his 2007 quasi-documentary My Winnipeg is an hilarious, surreal, addictive look back at his upbringing. It's one of the most entertaining films you'll ever see, and its moments of obvious exaggeration are as revealing as the moments of autobiographical truth. This is about as fun as homework gets.

Substitutions: If you can't get The Heart of the World, try his first ever short film The Dead Father (1985). If you can't get My Winnipeg, try Brand Upon the Brain! (2006).

The Hidden Gem: If you want to go for something off the trodden path, be sure to seek out Maddin's 2002 film Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary. It's one of the most incredible adaptations of the legend, and at only 73 minutes, you'll probably want to watch it twice.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Hayley Inch talking Guy Maddin, will be released on the morning of October 31 (AEST).

Our Next Hyphenate: Hayley Inch

Festival programmer, film critic and October 2014 Hyphenate Hayley Inch
Festival programmer, film critic and October 2014 Hyphenate Hayley Inch

You see a lot of familiar faces at film festivals. This is, the films aside, one of the best things about them. Especially when one of the familiar faces belongs to the Melbourne International Film Festival's Membership Coordinator Hayley Inch. Running into Hayley at MIFF is always wonderful: whether you passionately agree or disagree on the quality of the film you just saw, it's always a joy to chat with her. So of course we had to ask her onto the show.

In addition to working for MIFF, Hayley is the Shorts Manager at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. She was Broadsheet's resident film writer from 2012 to 2014, and runs her own film criticism site at the brilliantly-named Herzog's Chicken.

Hayley has chosen to speak about the works of Canadian auteur Guy Maddin. If you've never seen any Maddin before, you are in for a treat. It's safe to say nobody else in the world makes films the way Guy Maddin does, and when we publish our forthcoming Cheat Sheet, those currently unfamiliar with him will see why.

But that's not all!

Long-term listeners will remember that in 2012 we introduced the “mini-Hyphenate” segment. Due to the fact that we introduced a rule saying the Filmmakers of the Month must have made more than five films, we realised this would exclude a whole lot of notable directors. No one could, for instance, choose Charles Laughton, whose only directed film was the Robert Mitchum classic The Night of the Hunter. Therefore, we introduced a semi-regular segment in which, in addition to the Filmmaker of the Month, we discuss the works of a director who has (a) made five films or fewer, and (b) has a finite filmography.

To date, we've spoken about the films of Sarah Watt, Jean Vigo, Elaine May, Fabián Bielinsky, Adrienne Shelly, Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker and Alice Guy-Blaché.

We had to rest the segment for much of this year, largely due to the epic workload involved in watching the films of Robert Altman simultaneous to the films of Luc Besson, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harold Ramis and Jim Jarmusch. So when Hayley picked Maddin - a director with numerous credits, but only about ten feature films - we thought this would be a good month to introduce another mini-Hyphenate.

And so, in our next episode, we shall also be talking about the films of comic filmmaker Jacques Tati!

We're bending our own rules a little (and not for the first time): although Tati made five features, he also made numerous significant short films, and one feature-length film, Parade, that was produced for television. So he's slipping through on a technicality. But when Madman Entertainment released the epic Jacques Tati box set this year, we couldn't resist exploring the works of this fascinating comedian-filmmaker-performer.

If you want to play along at home, our Cheat Sheet will be released in a couple of weeks, ensuring you can become an instant expert in only one evening. The episode featuring Jacques Tati, Guy Maddin and special guest Hayley Inch will be released on the morning of October 31 AEST via iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio and our website.

Tati Maddin
Next episode’s two filmmakers: France’s Jacques Tati (left) and Canada’s Guy Maddin (right)