Guy Maddin's cinema has always been marked by its unique and highly-stylized visuals, and his 14-minute short film The Night Mayor is certainly no exception. A beautifully conceived and executed piece marked by a dreamy narrative and intriguing imagery, it's like a brief introduction to everything that makes the director's work so compelling. And now, you can experience it firsthand (and for free!) at the National Film Board of Canada's website.

The NFB commissioned the piece to celebrate their 70th anniversary and Maddin certainly delivered with his tale of Nihad Ademi, the titular "Night Mayor." Ademi gathers the power of the aurora borealis through a device called a "Telemelodium" and then transmits the sounds and lights across the land -- creating a problem when the machine overwhelms the country's telecommunication system.

Our own Monika Bartyzel describes the tale as "one of Maddin's more avant garde stories, anchored more in whimsy than lucidity." While the story is certainly interesting (and features subtext), what really elevates The Night Mayor are its technical accomplishments. Filmed in beautiful, stark black-and-white and featuring an amazing performance from actor Nihad Ademi, this is one of the most striking short films you're likely to ever see. Check it out and see for yourself after the jump. Also, be sure to dig into Monika's interview with the director over here.