Rain Taxi interviews Guy Maddin
'JE: My Winnipeg, both the film and book, seem to be indebted to the literary works of magic realism more than any other of your works: it incorporates the phantasmagoric with descriptive reportage and looks to the fantasy world within our own rather than creating a fictional setting.
GM: It’s strange. I really didn’t have to make up the magic realism part. It’s just a way of looking at the world. A lot of people say, “Geez, a lot of strange things happened to you.” Then, they’ll tell me about their lives, and a bunch of strange things have happened to them, but they just don’t see them that way; they don’t see the magic in them or an interconnectedness among the various components that seem to be telling a story, other than their own dull life story.
Michael Silverblatt was telling me the other day that he had always been one of those guys that went to petting zoos and the animals always ignored him, the cute little goats and bunnies always went to other people. He’s since developed Type 2 Diabetes, which means he not only urinates more sugar than the average person, but he also sweats it. Now, thinking of Magic Realism, he’s had a few instances recently walking down the street in L.A. where a million butterflies, I guess smelling the sugar coming out of his pores, have completely encrusted him in fluttering wings. It’s one of those true-life moments as described by Gabriel García Márquez, or something like that. I guess he literally is just a sweeter person now than he was before. But one of those odd coincidences is that he is now beleaguered by gorgeous butterflies wherever he goes. These kinds of things just happen in Winnipeg, and they all just sort of line up because, I don’t know, I live here, and because I’m looking at them and thinking about them.'
Read the whole interview here.