timespace coordinates: 20th century Snowy, Sleep-Walking Winnipeg
My Winnipeg is a 2007 film directed and written by Guy Maddin with dialogue by George Toles. Described by Maddin as a “docu-fantasia,” that melds “personal history, civic tragedy, and mystical hypothesizing,” the film is a surrealist mockumentary about Winnipeg, Maddin’s home town. A New York Times article described the film’s unconventional take on the documentary style by noting that it “skates along an icy edge between dreams and lucidity, fact and fiction, cinema and psychotherapy.”
Maddin also released a book titled My Winnipeg (Coach House Books, 2009). Maddin’s book contains the film’s narration as a main text surrounded by annotations, including outtakes, marginal notes and digressions, production stills, family photos, and miscellaneous material. The book contains a “Winnipeg Map” by artist Marcel Dzama featuring such fictional attractions as “The Giant Squid of the Red [River],” various poster designs for the film, and short articles about working with Maddin by Andy Smetanka, Darcy Fehr, and Caelum Vatnsdal. Maddin also includes an angry e-mail from an ex-girlfriend, collages and notebooks pages, and an X-ray of the dog Spanky from the film. The book also includes an interview with Maddin’s mother Herdis, conducted by Ann Savage, and an interview with Maddin conducted by Michael Ondaatje. Maddin’s publisher offers the book with or without a DVD of the film, distributed by Seville Pictures.