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Cowards Bend the Knee (2003)

Cast: Darcy Fehr, Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, more...
Director: Guy Maddin, Guy Maddin
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Genre: Drama, Experimental/Avant-Garde, Canada
Running Time: 64 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Recently Rented By RRappuhn

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. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Jonathan Marlow's conversation with Guy Maddin, begun in March with a film-by-film discussion of his early work, picked up again in October, focusing on the later features: Dracula, The Saddest Music in the World and Cowards Bend the Knee. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

...and Maddin Molds the Mind by talltale October 2, 2005 - 6:22 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Canadian wunderklutz Guy Maddin bounces back from his long 'n soggy "Saddest Music in the World" with the short 'n funny COWARDS BEND THE KNEE (just 63 minutes). Blending and bending The Oresteia into "The Hands of Orlac," ice hockey, fisting and an interest in breasts and penises that goes a bit beyond mere mainstream--all produced in his lately "signature" scratchy, speeded-up, silent-movie mode--Maddin manages to tweak us into connecting his dots to form an... oh, my goodness, I don't exactly know. But I sure did enjoy watching, connecting and giggling myself silly. (The bell and the shower scene: what a nifty combo!) More please, but in this same "less" manner, since Maddin's shorter works are far superior to his "full-lengthers." Part of this--granted, only a small part--may be due simply to wear and tear on the eyes while watching his "faux-silent," peepshow style.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.64)
59 Votes
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