Cowards Bend the Knee

Cowards Bend the Knee

Director: Guy Maddin

Cast: Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart

     
 

The wildly idiosyncratic Canadian auteur Guy Maddin created this exercise in semi-autobiographical impressionism. Guy Maddin (Darcy Fehr) is a gifted but weak-willed hockey player who has helped drive the Winnipeg Maroons to a championship season. However, Maddin's sense of triumph is dashed when his girlfriend Veronica (Amy Stewart) informs him that she's pregnant.… See more details below

Overview

The wildly idiosyncratic Canadian auteur Guy Maddin created this exercise in semi-autobiographical impressionism. Guy Maddin (Darcy Fehr) is a gifted but weak-willed hockey player who has helped drive the Winnipeg Maroons to a championship season. However, Maddin's sense of triumph is dashed when his girlfriend Veronica (Amy Stewart) informs him that she's pregnant. Incapable of dealing with parenthood, Maddin escorts Veronica to The Black Silhouette, a combination beauty shop and brothel where a cross-dressing doctor performs abortions. As Veronica is on the operating table, Maddin spies Meta (Melissa Dionisio) and immediately falls in love with her, leaving Veronica behind. While Meta is attracted to Maddin, she will not grant him her favors until he passes a test -- he must track down the man who murdered her father and kill him using her late father's own blue hands. Shot on Super-8 film, Cowards Bend the Knee was originally created by Maddin as an art installation presented at a Toronto gallery and at the Rotterdam Film Festival, where viewers watched the film in six-minute segments through peepholes; it was later released in a conventional full-screen version.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though known for creating arresting images culled from a dreamy remembrance of movies from the late-silent/early-sound period of the late '20s/early '30s, director Guy Maddin draws off his own personal stock of Freudian symbolism as much as film history. Cowards Bend the Knee primarily concerns issues of masculinity -- the neurotic nightmare surrounding "Guy Maddin" (Darcy Fehr) attempting to live up to his notions of what it means to be a man. It takes place in the director's native Winnipeg, primarily at the Winnipeg Arena. Maddin was apparently born there, he spent a lot of time there as his dad worked as treasurer for the Canadian National Hockey Team (when the Maroons were the home team), and Maddin once wrote, "In the Winnipeg Arena, my inner and outer landscapes were one and the same thing." The stadium, with a wax museum of famous players located above the rink, is depicted as a combination Eden/Valhalla of manhood. It's no surprise that sex, as befits the film's origins in peep-show segments, plays a prominent role, from the lust-driven blunders Maddin makes to appease Meta (Melissa Dionisio) to the slapstick homoeroticism of the Maroons' locker room. The drama, while clearly tapping into personal hang-ups, is operatic enough not to become maddeningly obtuse and is bolstered by Maddin's highly original sense of humor that makes the film equally comic and tragic. The imagery is amazing, the overall effect brilliantly done, and the story accessible enough given its experimental leanings.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
UPC:
0795975106832
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
NR
Source:
Zeitgeist Films
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[silent]
Time:
1:04:00
Sales rank:
70,365

Special Features

Audio commentary by Guy Maddin; Love-Chaunt Workbooks: Four short-film blueprints from a lost Maddin feature, plus audition reels; Behind-the-scenes look at Maddin's new feature-and Cowards companion piece-The Brand upon the Brain!; Cowards photo archive: Production photos, plus vintage beauty shop and hockey shots from Mddin's personal collection; Watch the film as a whole, or as 10 individual short films; Plus: Artistic statement, character sketches, missing chapter script excerpt and the essay" A Note on Hands"

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Darcy Fehr Guy Maddin
Melissa Dionisio Actor
Amy Stewart Actor
Tara Birtwhistle Actor
Louis Negin Actor
Mike Bell Actor
David Stuart Evans Actor
Henry Mogrtas Actor
Victor Cowie Actor
Herdis Maddin Actor
Mirrion Martin Actor
Rurum Micbride Actor
Bernard Lesk Actor
Moses Guest Toby

Technical Credits
Guy Maddin Director,Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Shawna Connor Production Designer
John Gurdebeke Editor
Tracy McBride Production Manager
Meg McMillan Costumes/Costume Designer
Philip Monk Producer

Read More

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cowards Bend the Knee
1. The Sperm Players [6:23]
1. A Squeeze of the Hand [6:09]
1. Upon a Pile of Hockey Gloves [6:09]
1. Meta's Bedroom [6:09]
1. Fisty [6:08]
1. Wax Tryst [6:09]
1. The Blue Hands of Vengeance [6:09]
1. Another Wax Tryst [6:09]
1. Hands Off [6:09]
1. The Furies [8:29]

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >