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The Twilight of the Ice Nymphs

An acquired taste they may have been, but from the mock early sound-era Nordic saga Tales from the Gimli Hospital to the deconstructed, de-Nazified mountain film Careful, the camp pastiche melodramas of Canadian experimentalist Maddin had a compelling (if confounding) hallucinatory logic of their own: surreally funny, but halo'd by a haze of 'lost age' romantic nostalgia. Forsaking at last the creaky conventions of '20s cinema, Maddin takes his inspiration here from the equally kitsch but more ethereal magical reaches of such '30s movies as the Reinhardt/Dieterle A Midsummer Night's Dream. Sadly, it collapses dizzily amid a baroque shower of bejewelled costumes, Kenneth Anger style colour overload, mock fairytale purple prose, and pixillated anti-naturalistic performances: mournful ugly sister Amelia (Duvall); mesmerist Dr Solti (Thomson), the object of her affection; widowed Zephyr (Krige); a returned convict, and a dog called Aesop among them. Finally pretty tedious.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Guy Maddin
Screenwriter: George Toles
Cast: Pascale Bussières
Shelley Duvall
Frank Gorshin
Alice Krige
RH Thomson
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