|7:00 p.m.||Twilight of the Ice Nymphs|
Guy Maddin (Canada, 1997)
Bathed in dawn-tinted hues, Mandragora is a fantasy island where the sun never sets. Here, nature runs amok in a teeming wood, but it is human nature that is most unbridled. The island's inhabitants simmer in the sylvan sun: Peter (Nigel Whitmey) has returned to Mandragora after a six-year absence only to be distracted by the enigmatic Juliana (Pascale Bussieres), a beautiful castaway. For her part, Peter's starchy sibling Amelia (Shelley Duvall) yearns after the island's wicked master Dr. Solti (R. H. Thomson), a mesmerist of questionable intent. Then too there is Zephyr (Alice Krige), the smouldering fishwife wed mysteriously to the things of the forest. Maddin's intoxicating tale of landlocked love transpires in an enchanted realm that recalls A Midsummer Night's Dream, only now the pent-up passion leads to a more communal bout of braying. The mad excesses of the heart are fair game in scenery lifted from the likes of Gustave Moreau and his symbolist kin. Longtime collaborator George Toles's purple prose meshes merrily with the lavender-lit landscape of Maddin's fever dream.
• Written by George Toles. Photographed by Michael Marshall. With Pascale Bussieres, Shelley Duvall, Nigel Whitmey, Alice Krige. (92 mins, Color, 35mm, From Zeitgeist)