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7.6
/10
1,394 Ratings

The Saddest Music in the World

Directed by Guy Maddin
Canada, 2003
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Synopsis

A sort-of musical set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win first place – a $25,000 prize.

Our take

Winnipeg’s iconoclastic weirdo conjured his most spectacular film to date with this wild melodrama composed of beer, music, and glass legs. The Saddest Music in the World does the near impossible and entirely lives up to its perfect title by way of a welcome cocktail of the surreal and the sincere.

The Saddest Music in the World Directed by Guy Maddin
Guy Maddin has reached a new expressive plateau with The Saddest Music in the World. It reprises the key elements of his previous work — the look and feel of scratchy late silents and early talkies (mainly black and white, with a few lush interludes in two-strip Technicolor) and themes involving Canada, amnesia and other forms of repression, war and wartime loss, oedipal conflict, mutilation, and unabated romantic despair — all touched with deadpan comedy and melodramatic excess.
May 14, 2004
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Lovingly cobbled together from his treasure-trove of obsessions and memories, Maddin’s filmmaking — much as it has for Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino — exemplifies movie love at its most ecstatic.
May 07, 2004
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Guy Maddin’s latest extravaganza, improbably adapted from an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, is the best Big Broadcast ever—a stompin’ mishmash, 100 minutes of demented vaudeville and murky montage, spasmodic violence and even splatter.
April 26, 2004
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