Guy Maddin

Guy Maddin

The Saddest Music in the World; My Winnipeg
Voted in the directors poll

Voted for:

After Life 1998 Koreeda Hirokazu
Age d'Or, L' 1930 Luis Buñuel
Letter From an Unknown Woman 1948 Max Ophüls
Long Goodbye, The 1973 Robert Altman
Man's Castle 1933 Frank Borzage
Mulholland Dr 2003 David Lynch
Tree of Life, The 2010 Terrence Malick
Unknown, The 1927 Tod Browning
Zero de Conduite 1933 Jean Vigo
Zvenigora 1928 Aleksandr Dovzhenko


Joyous, aggressively primitive and trope-giddy, Zéro de conduite is the best shortcut back to the intensely wondrous state of childhood – and therefore the source of all creation – in the history of cinema.

Tod Browning and forgotten genius Lon Chaney's perfectly executed allegory about the self-castration impulse in all of us, The Unknown is immensely entertaining, unpredictable and thoroughly disinhibited – perhaps the most fearless and shameless melodrama of all time.

Man’s Castle is the best example of how Frank Borzage slows a film down to unspool in ‘lover's time’, a pace that allows him to pack in all the tiny details that encrust and encase a pair of throbbing hearts. Agonising and cathartic!

The Tree of Life isn't even a movie, it's a vest of dynamite that rips open the viewer's bosom and keeps it suffering long after detonation.

Is L’Age d’or an oneiric essay film? Still the most inspiring, ragged, cocky, smart and mischievous – all of it expressed in an extinct but somehow modern filmic vocabulary. We'll never quite catch up to this picture.

The Long Goodbye is mannered in crazy, loosey-goosey ways. Altman, in the zone, completely repurposes a genre!

Mulholland Dr.: boom! Game changed!

Letter from an Unknown Woman: sadistic comedy or delirious tragedy? Masterfully both.

Singular use, reuse and re-reuse of memory and film-as-memory in After Life, Kore-eda’s strangely playful yet moving wonder. What a structure!

Zvenigora is mind-bogglingly eccentric!