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'Keyhole'

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Reviewed by Andy Campbell, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Keyhole

Narrative Spotlight
D: Guy Maddin; with Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric, Udo Kier, Kevin McDonald

What to expect from Winnepegian Guy Maddin this time around at South by Southwest? A gangster father named Ulysses – whose wife, Hyacinth, is aloofly played with aplomb by Isabella Rossellini – attempts to remember his troubled past (future?) in a large house defined psychologically and formally by swinging lighting of all kinds and ticky-tacky stage sets. That's to mention nothing of the watery bog out back that hides more skeletons than the La Brea Tar Pits. Liberally borrowing from Jean Cocteau's scary-dreamy aesthetic, this gangster-ghost mash-up uses its genre referents as objects in a still life – let them rot and they become a kind of cinematic vanitas. When one of the many recurring motifs is a masturbating son whose onanistic actions are accompanied by the soundtrack of dice rolling and exclamations of "Yahtzee!," you know you're not in Hollywood anymore. Good thing, too. And who said Canadians had no tooth?


Saturday, March 17, 7pm, SXSatellite: Alamo Village

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