Feb 6, 2008


Guy Maddin’s Careful is no doubt the directors fantasies and obsessions shot on film. I don’t think many filmmakers would be interested in making a contemporary German mountain film(genre from the 1920s and 1930s). I couldn’t imagine someone taking the genre and adding incest. Only Canadian auteur Guy Maddin would attempt such risky conquests.

for me is a very soothing film. Beautiful cinematography, sets, and lighting makes for a dreamlike experience. Various mountain climing silhouettes are also featured echoing back to the days of Arnold Fanck and mountain films like Holy Mountain(starring master art propagandist Leni Riefenstahl). Guy Maddin is the only filmmaker capable of utilizing almost century old film techniques and giving them new life(Soviet Montage in Mcdonalds commercials doesn't count). Hand-tinted color sequences also add to the films already vintage aesthetic.

Assumed Germanic Alpine village of Tolzbad is where this masterpiece takes place. All animals in this town no longer have their vocal chords as loud noises can(and have) cause deadly avalanches. The actors of the film keep their vocals levels to a quite whisper complimenting their proper linguistic etiquette. Guy Maddin has a very distinct sense of humor. One that would most likely offend most.

Careful features a very memorable and complimenting soundtrack. This “jingle” got me excited for each new scene. The overall sound of Careful is low-fi and cracking. Guy Maddin is very specific with each little detail in his films. Thankfully the Canadian government helped Maddin finance the film as very few filmmakers could get away with how personal his films are.

Incest, suicide, skinny dipping, snow flurries, and fatherly ghosts are all found in Careful. The film is by far my favorite from Maddin. Careful is a surrealist dream of luscious colors that radiate warmth(in contrast to the films snowy setting). The film makes me wish I grew up in the mountains of Germanic Switzerland 100 years ago.

-Ty E


Anonymous said...

you want soothing, try the 1959 version of "HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL" thats perhaps the most soothing film ever made.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

and what about that incredibly soothing cult item from 1973 "house of the seven corpse`s" with john ireland and faith domergue, it also has an incredible rewatchability factor, although i`m not sure about its availability on DVD.