21 September - 27 September 2012
Gloriously shot in his trademark black and white, Canadian artist Guy Maddin’s new film Keyhole is difficult to pin down. Gangster film? Experimental art? Melodramatic interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey? Welcome to the wonderfully idiosyncratic world of Maddin’s imagination. Drawing from a cinematic gene pool that includes Buńuel, von Sternberg and Anthony Mann, he has crafted a unique work that is obtuse at times, slightly bonkers and often stunningly beautiful.
Jason Patric plays gang leader Ulysses Pick, who returns home after a long absence carrying a nearly drowned girl on his back. While his cohorts mill about in the downstairs sitting room, Ulysses journeys through the labyrinthine house. He is joined by the girl (Brooke Palsson) and a bound and gagged hostage (David Wontner), who turns out to be Manners, his only living son. Ulysses' goal is to reach the attic bedroom where his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini), lies chained to her bed next to her elderly father (Louis Negin). The father lures his son-in-law with a siren call, but the haunted house is full of obstacles – including locked doors, debilitating visions of the past and terrifying anxieties brought to life.
Co-written by Maddin’s long-time writing partner George Toles and shot on digital (a first for the director), Keyhole is an avant-garde film noir and a nightmarish exploration of familiar tropes of family, sexuality and memory.