Tales from the Gimli Hospital is Guy Maddin’s feature tribute. It consists of a frame plot, with a woman telling a story to her grandchilren at the bed of their dying mother (her daughter), and that very story, which took place long time ago in the same city (Gimli) and is about this icelandic guy, who got sick with something infectious (there was an epidemic), and got into quarantine, where he met several characters, and became almost friends with one of them, but then they remembered one thing that happened to both of them, albeit neither of them knew about the other’s part, and that thing came between the bark and the tree.
This film is implemented in a very distinct Maddin style, one that is characteristic to all of his movies that I’ve seen – a deliberate stylization into silent cinema, specifically, the film is intentionally made look like a poorly preserved copy of a very old movie. In this case, though, the stylistics has not yet been totally formed, so it all is pretty rough around the edges. The rythm is hobbled, the story is barely readable, and the acting is nothing to care for. It is rather curious, but only as one of the first steps of a future master; but it’s not very interesting as a work of art.
Released in: 1988
Directed by: Guy Maddin
Written by: Guy Maddin
Performed by: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gottli, Angela Heck, Margaret Anne MacLeod, Heather Neale, David Neale, Don Hewak, Ron Eyolfson, Chris Johnson, Donna Szöke, Tiffany Taylor, Linda Schinkel, Jeff Solylo, Randy Kray, George Toles
Entertaining quality: 3 out of 5
Art quality: 4- out of 5
Links: IMDB || Wiki