Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Saddest Music In The World (2003)

WHO: Directed by Guy Maddin.

WHAT: An almost indescribable film about a Winnipeg brewery owner (Isabella Rossellini) who stages a contest between international musicians to decide which performs the saddest melody (thus the title), in hopes of promoting beer sales as the Prohibition era comes to an end. Her former lover Matt McKinney arrives with his new girlfriend (Maria de Medeiros, pictured above) to represent the United States in the competition, but things get complicated when his father and brother appear to represent Canada and Serbia, respectively. It's one of Maddin's most accessible features.

WHERE/WHEN: 7PM tonight at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.

WHY: Hard to believe it's been nearly 10 years since Saddest Music In The World was completed and released onto an unsuspecting public. Which means it's been almost 9 years since the PFA became the site of its first Frisco Bay public screening, as part of the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival. Since then the venue has periodically brought it back, but never before with the sort of hullabaloo promised for tonight's screening, which will include beer provided by Pyramid and a live musical performance (presumably not during the film- this is not one of Maddin's neo-silents), all emcee'd by Peter Conheim. Whether you've never seen this on the big screen before, or whether you're due for a revisitation to the Muskeg Brewery, when could there be a better time than now?

HOW: 35mm print from IFC Films.

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