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Why Udo Kier Loves Guy Maddin: “I like directors who don’t care.”

Why Udo Kier Loves Guy Maddin: "I like directors who don't care."

indieWIRE hosted a series of Q&As at TIFF’s Filmmakers’ Lounge. Here’s the highlights from assistant editor Nigel Smith’s conversation with director Guy Maddin and actor Udo Kier of “Keyhole.”

“Whenever I’m holding a movie camera, I get mystical and believe in ghosts,” says Canadian auteur Guy Maddin. His latest picture “Keyhole” draws inspiration from Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”, but Maddin calls it an essay film with a melodramatic plot. It’s the indoor odyssey of Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) in search of his wife (Isabella Rossellini) inside a house while “all sorts of sad and horny things happen.”

Maddin read “The Odyssey” for the first time while he was developing this project, but incorporated memories of the house he grew up in and the things that haunted him throughout childhood. As a kid, Maddin says he fantasized about movies made with security cameras.

Maddin’s star, Udo Kier, says he first saw Maddin’s work years ago at the Tokyo Film Festival, and was drawn to him; Kier says he likes “directors who don’t care.” Says Kier, “The best compliment for a director is that an audience hates their films.”

“Keyhole” was commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University and Maddin says he liked having someone he must report back to. The film’s $1-million budget accommodated a 15-day shoot on a high-definition still camera. Maddin said his next feature might be shot in color.

Udo maintains very strong feelings for the film. “It’s a beautiful film,” he says. “Even a close-up of a toaster becomes a piece of art.”

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