Careful takes place in the remote Alpine village of Tolzbad, where everyone speaks in whispers for fear of starting an avalanche. This self-inflicted noise control to the overall suppression of emotions and impulses. Entering this rarefied atmosphere is aspiring butler Brent Neale. Remaining as silent as his companions, Neale bears witness to all sorts of muted aberrations, from incest to surreptitious suicide. Director Guy Maddin stages Careful in the manner of an early German Expressionistic talkie, replete with subtitles, hand-tinted color sequences, heavy-handed symbolism and a "popping" soundtrack. … More
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Critic Reviews for Careful
In part a hilarious satire about Canadian timidity, it also comes across periodically as a formalist gem about nothing at all.
Careful is one long and amusing pun on German Expressionistic film imagery, Freudian psychology and quasi-Wagnerian storytelling, all carried to absurdist lengths.
There's something wonderfully unique about the project but the reasons for doing it remain buried.
Careful, the hilariously bizarre new film from Canadian director Guy Maddin, is like some lost masterpiece from a time-warped alternative dimension -- a strange artifact that time forgot.
... an utterly demented melodrama tale of the repressed residents of a small alpine village who live in virtual silence...
An acquired taste, Maddin is an unusually precise director who leaves little to chance. Whether one finds his approach too careful or just stunningly controlled will be up to individual cineastes.
Audience Reviews for Careful
Repressed emotions erupt into suicide, betrayals and duels in a fairy tale Alpine village where everyone must whisper and watch their every move closely for fear of avalanches. This is Guy Maddin, so if features gorgeous stylized visuals based on German Expressionists (here, bizarre hand-tinting choices which lead to scenes performed in brilliant yellow and pink or extreme orange); but, although the setting here is pure fantastic Maddin, the quiet, melodrama-based plot takes too long to engage, making CAREFUL a movie that's more for established fans of this auteur than to newcomers.More
"Careful" is set in a mountain valley where the villagers are worried that the slightest sound could set off an avalanche, and are on guard constantly against any action no matter how small that can spell their doom. Living in such a place, brothers Johann(Brent Neale) and Grigorss(Kyle McCulloch) enter into training for the perfect occupation at the butler school.(Not affiliated with Butler University in any way.) This way, Johann will have an occupation once he and Klara(Sarah Neville) get married. But then he starts having these weird dreams about his mother(Gosia Dobrowolska).
"Careful" is another entertaining pastiche from Guy Maddin that tells its story in delirious fashion with tinted images. Madness along with incest are the central topics of discussion as the events, like an avalanche, are set off from the preceding one, each forming a worse catastrophe. This can only be expected in a village so repressed that any sounds of joy, anger or sadness must be contained. Or maybe the altitude finally got to everyone.
The cinematography and art direction are superb. However, the action stays in a less than interesting middle ground that isn't quite comedy and never pushes hard enough to delve into a meaningful exploration of the Freudian issues it seems to be hinting at.More
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