(aka "Guy Maddin Collection: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs / Archangel / The Heart of the World")
by Guy Maddin
Canada 1990 - 2000
An addled romance about unrequited love involving an ostrich
farmer, a one-legged mesmerist, a fisherman's sex-crazed widow, a psycho
handyman, a paroled political prisoner and a fairy princess. Welcome back to
the wacky and ofttimes wonderful world of Winnipegger Guy Maddin's strange
brain. Having fun with freaks of his own invention is a Maddin tradition. As
always, he places his rogues gallery in a fantasyland that invokes 1920s
German expressionism, 1930s European mountain adventure films and timeless
This latest film is more of the same, which is both a blessing and a slight curse. Maddin's work is beginning to appear to be endless variations on one theme. He is preoccupied with love stories that end in humiliation, loneliness, tragedy or death. While the surreal settings are unique to each of his films, they share the same fuzzy-focus, deliberately artificial, studio-built, wonderworld look. Shrouding it all an aching melancholy. So, if you have already seen films such as Careful and Archangel, this entry will seem familiar.
Theatrical Release: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs - Sept. 6 1997 / The Heart of the World - 2000 / Archangel - 1990
DVD Review: Zeitgeist - Region 1 - NTSC
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Region 1 - NTSC
Original Aspect Ratio
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Dolby Digital 2.0|
Maddin fans will find this DVD
absolutely essential. The three films presented here represent three
different micro-phases in Maddin's career as I see it. The earliest being
"Archangel"(1990), which is most like his earlier film "Tales from the Gimli Hospital"(1988) than the others. "Twilight" fits nicely into Maddin's middle Technicolor phase, where as "The Heart of the World" fits
with his more recent hyper-expressionist films.
All three transfers look very good considering the director's intentions and filming methods. The transfer for "Twilight" is labeled as: "Director-approved full-frame aspect ratio 1.33:1". It looks very soft, which is completely intentional. There are moments during close-ups of nearly perfect clarity, which leads me to believe that any softness in the image is from the source.
"Archangel" exhibits a predictably inconsistent image. Black levels and gray scale are clearly better than other Maddin films already on DVD from the same time period. For example, when comparing this transfer to Kino's DVD of "Tales from the Gimli Hospital", it is of much higher quality. There are moments where bacteria stains are clearly visible. This is interesting because they have obviously been added for effect.
"The Heart of the World" is presented in 1.85:1 Letterbox and looks the worst of the three, but of course it’s all to plan.
The two commentaries are a very nice addition, but are not incredibly
informative. The "Archangel" commentary betters the other possibly because
of the increased personnel.