Guy Maddin's Twilight of the Ice Nymphs/Archangel/The Heart of the World [DVD]

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Special Features

  • "Twilight of the Ice Nymphs":
  • Filmmakers' commentary
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Original production design collages
  • "Archangel":
  • New Intertitles and color-tinted sequences
  • "The Heart of the World":
  • Original storyboards drawn by Guy Maddin


Archangel is a courageous if not altogether successful attempt to emulate the styles and techniques of silent films within a talking-picture framework. Kyle McCulloch plays a crippled British officer, who during World War 1 takes up residence in the Russian town of Archangel. Here he falls in love with a woman who is the living image of his deceased lover. This arouses the jealousy of McCulloch's landlord's wife, who covets the soldier for herself. While it is obvious that director Guy Maddin has put a great deal of love and effort into this project, it is liable to confuse anyone not familiar with the "language" of silent movies. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Twilight of the Ice Nymphs
Set in a blazing land where the sun ceaselessly shines, this dramatic fantasy examines love's darker aspects. After years of incarceration as a political prisoner, Peter Glahn (Nigel Whitney, who had his name removed from the credits because another actor redubbed his lines) finally returns to Mandragora via ship. During the voyage, he encounters the glamorous Julianna (Pascale Bussieres), and falls deeply in love. Before he can act upon it, the radiant beauty mysteriously disappears. Once home he goes to see his sister Amelia (Shelley Duval) on the family ostrich farm. Poor homely Amelia is pining for the love of snake-in-the-grass Dr. Solti (R.H. Thompson) who is busy controlling the lives of Juliana and Zephyr (Alice Krige), a fisherman's widow. Solti toys with these women, but he is actually in love with a statue of Venus, a magical sculpture that seems strangely drawn towards Zephyr. Continuing frustration causes Amelia's smouldering passion for Solti to erupt into a conflagration of grisly violence. A challenging film from idiosyncratic Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Heart of the World
This six-minute short from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin is an ingenious pastiche of silent-film tropes in the service of what Maddin calls a "subliminal melodrama." Set in a dystopian future as imagined by a 1920s Soviet filmmaker, the movie is of a venerable genre -- a love story (in this case, a love triangle) played out against the backdrop of a catastrophic event. The hyperactive epic opens with an introduction to the characters: two brothers, Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor in a Passion Play, both of whom are in love with Anna, a state scientist. Anna's conundrum is compounded by her latest scientific discovery: the Earth's heart is failing, and humanity has one day left. Chaos ensues as people prepare for the apocalypse, and as the brothers compete for Anna's love. However, a third man appears, Akmatov, an industrialist. As riots and orgies break out, Anna falls under the spell of the capitalist, oblivious to the world's tumult. At the last minute, she comes to her senses and frees herself from the industrialist's grasp. With the heart of the world on the brink of failure, Anna devises a radical remedy that leads to the Earth's rescue, and a rousing climax. This highly praised short premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival as part of its "Preludes" series of shorts played before feature films. The movie nabbed a few mentions in several year-end best-of lists, and was given a Best Experimental Film award by the National Society of Film Critics. ~ Elbert Ventura, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Kyle McCulloch - Lt. John Boles
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    Sarah Neville - Danchuk
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    Michael Gottli - Jannings
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    Michael O'Sullivan - Doctor
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    Victor Cowie - Captain

Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.