The Saddest Music in the World
Time Out saysWinnipeg, 1933, 'the world capital of sorrow'. A legless beer baroness, Lady Helen Port-Huntley (Rossellini), orchestrates an international contest to find the most melancholy music from across the globe, and, incidentally, promote Winnipeg beer to Prohibitioned radio listeners over the border. Her old lover and nemesis Chester Kent (McKinney) wants a piece of the action - his new girlfriend Narcissa (Madeiros) is quite the canary. Perhaps '30s B-movies weren't quite as surreal, but this, from archaeologist of the imagination Guy Maddin, makes you wonder. Even in the appropriate context of a competitive international film festival, the spoofy contest doesn't quite sustain feature length; but la Rossellini's sparkling glass legs, filled with muskeg beer, are an image of Grimm fascination. (Based on an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro.) TCh.