Guy Maddin is not your everyday director. Over the last twenty years, he's made a name for himself with his beautifully hazy black and white shorts and features, from the docufantasia wonder of My Winnipeg to the hops-filled thrills of Isabella Rossellini and The Saddest Music in the World. These projects have inspired many to call him the Canadian David Lynch, but while the two create rich fantasies for their films to thrive in, Maddin's always have a clear-cut narrative. The path might be surreal, strange, and utterly fantastical, but it's also easily understandable. With his latest, Night Mayor, Maddin turned an ode for the NFB's 70th anniversary into the tale of an immigrant who harnesses the power of the aurora borealis to help teach Canadians their national identity.
During TIFF, Cinematical had a chance to talk to the filmmaker about how Night Mayor came to be, Maddin's cinematic process, the magic of collaboration, and his next project (a choose-your-own adventure!). On top of more timely chatter, Guy also took a moment to share the story behind Sissy Boy Slap Party (my favorite guilty pleasure), and how a moment of spite turned into a memorable short.