Cowards Bend the Knee Reviews

March 5, 2018
Shot in five days, "Cowards Bend The Knee" is not exactly automatic writing-Maddin knows exactly which Greek tragedies he's pillaging-but it feels like a direct flood from the unconscious. His most dreamlike film, it's also his most heartfelt.
December 21, 2010
... a miniature, barely more than an hour long... but it bubbles over with lust, guilt, and betrayal, not to mention weirdness.
October 13, 2008
Plays like a fever dream recalled upon waking, told with the immediacy of fear couched in relentless pleasure.
February 6, 2006
A dreamlike tale told by an idiosyncratic storyteller who is hyper-imaginative.
January 28, 2005
If you've never seen Maddin's work, Cowards Bend the Knee is a good place to start.
January 27, 2005
If you're a fan of Maddin's expressionist style, you'll find the humor within. Everyone else will be scratching their heads, despite Maddin's extraordinary visual imagination.
August 18, 2004
There's no denying the imagination and technical ingenuity on display, but this clearly ranks as one of Maddin's less accessible efforts, which is definitely saying something.
August 13, 2004
Lurid, tawdry and untoward entertainment from Canada's reigning mad genius.
August 13, 2004
Although only an hour long, the movie -- which uses intertitles to convey dialogue -- may seem endless to those who have not acquired a taste for Maddin's surreal mayhem.
August 12, 2004
There's a new visual idea every second, each teeming with energy, pitch-dark comedy, and inspired cinematic lunacy.
August 11, 2004
The pleasure is watching how the fast-paced story careens from one outrageous plot turn to the next. This is one film in which over-the-top is sincere praise.
August 11, 2004
Most of Maddin's usual preoccupations are in evidence -- guilt, incest, sexual obsession, voyeurism, early cinema and Maddin's greatest love, hockey -- and as luridly entertaining as ever.
August 11, 2004
It's bliss, I tell you!
August 11, 2004
There is also something rather splendid about this extended-play peep show, as if Mr. Maddin had stumbled across a hitherto lost archive of cinema's less-than-innocent past.
August 10, 2004
What's truly extraordinary about this movie -- which strikes me on two viewings as Maddin's masterpiece -- is that it not only plays like a dream but feels like one.
August 8, 2004
One of the most brilliant works of an unapologetically eccentric, and endlessly inventive, director.
July 29, 2004
Cowards Bend the Knee is paradoxically retrograde and ultramodern.
May 8, 2004
May 8, 2004
Even by the standards of Maddin's past works, it is a unique creation -- intense, ridiculous, but also deeply personal.
May 8, 2004
Yep, Freud would have a field day. And we're betting you will, too.