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a surrealistic trip or fractured fairy tale like the films of Fellini or luis Bunnel
An ecstatic dream journey. Campy, pure hearted, genius.
Wanted to like this but it just drags way too much and ends in a very meh way. Visually it's interesting but but very shallow plot, and Guy Maddin would make much better films later on although it shows his start of changing his style more and more into a more faux-silent film style.
Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is an interesting visual and narrative concept that is unfortunately derailed by atrocious voice acting, which is due in part to the bad attempt at a modern Shakespearean fantasy. The actors involved play sincerely enough but can only do so much with a story that haphazardly meanders from philosophical concept to concept without moving the story forward in any sort of meaningful or dramatic manner.
"Triumph of the Ice Nymphs" starts with Peter(Nigel Whitmey) returning home after four years in prison. So, it's no surprise that a mysterious beautiful woman(Pascale Bussieres) asks him to steal back some jewelry for her before disappearing into the night. On the home front, his sister Amelia(Shelley Duvall) runs an ostrich farm which Cain Ball(Frank Gorshin) hopes to one day take over. But first there is Dr. Solti(R. H. Thomson) she is curious about.
On the one hand, "Twilight of the Ice Nymphs" differs from a lot of Guy Maddin's other films in that it is less a pastiche this time, more an original world that did remind me a little of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In fact, this might be his only film in full color. But that is not to say it is not as daft as anything else he has concocted.(Any movie with ostriches playing a prominent role is bound to be at least a little off kilter.) On the island where the movie is set, time does not flow naturally, as it seems to move in a circular motion, allowing elements of the supernatural to seep in.
Crazy color, crazy detailed set. This is what draws your attention in. The acting is absolutely horrid however. But it is entertaining to watch solely because the acting is so horrendous. Also, Shelly Duvall is creepy/funny/ and kind of endearing in this film.
IMO this is Guy Maddin's most underrated film. It's shot differently and has much more dialogue than his other films, but the visuals are beautiful the acting is unique and the film in general is dreamlike, hypnotic and otherwordly (all qualities I like very much).
A prisoner returns to his childhood home on an ostrich farm, and becomes involved with two mysterious women. An uninspiring protagonist in an uninvolving plot leads to a slow slog through a surrealist bog, thankfully livened by wonderfully stylized sets with brash, clashing color schemes that make the film work (somewhat) as a kind of slide-show with dialogue.
It's surprising that I am enchanted by Guy Maddin. In theory, I despise his pretensions, yet in the celluloid worlds he creates, I find myself a willing believer--there is honest beauty behind the fakery. And there is aesthetic beauty in this one, too--a pollen-saturated sylvan dreamscape that is an elegant candy-colored homage to Max Reinhardt's 'Midsummer Night's Dream.' You wanna completely win me over? Throw in Shelley Duvall. This is silly, yes, but it's also lovely.
Guy Maddin's early, bizarre maudlin romance concerns a man who's promised his heart to a fleeting love, banged a pregnant wife of an absent fisherman, and now has to content for the heart of the former with a mad scientist while staving off the latter's advances. Oh, and Shelly Duvall figures in this as the guy's sister who's engaged in a land battle with a crusty old tenant ostrich farmer. All of this is shot in closed sets full of greenery, orange-pink lighting, bogs, and a giant statue of Venus. At times, the plot itself and the rather uninteresting leads can make it a chore to sit through, but certain moments really work, one late in the game involving the Venus statue is actually quite moving. *** out've *****