Fatigued are the eventide sloops.

Pooped are the bedtime schooners.

Wrung out are the pitch-dark yachts.

Such is the state of our affairs, worries Guy Maddin in his keynote address, The Rise of the Tired Night Boats. In this entropy-intoxicated lyric essay, Maddin makes order out of the syntactical chaos randomly generated by Seances, the online narrative machine he created with his collaborators, the brothers Evan and Galen Johnson.


Wake up! Rise! Wax!

Up-Swell! Enlarge! Tumesce!

Don’t you dare shrink!

Such are the imperatives Maddin might passionately declaim to the above-mentioned sorry sea-bottom slumberers, the “night boats.” It turns out these drowsy vessels of the deep are in fact nothing more than evocatively inert word collages churned out by the algorithms of his Seances.

A firm believer in the Falknerian notion that the past and present unfurl themselves simultaneously, Maddin finds genuine emotion in the welter of memory’s ever reshuffled experience, and beauty in our confusion, which repurposes recollection to access feelings in constantly recombinant ways.

Talk will feature collages and clips.




Guy Maddin is an installation & internet artist, lecturer at Harvard, writer and filmmaker, the director of eleven feature-length movies, including The Forbidden Room (2015), My Winnipeg (2007), The Saddest Music in the World (2003), and innumerable shorts. He has also mounted around the world over seventy performances of his films featuring live elements – orchestra, sound effects, singing and narration.

In 2016 he and co-director Evan Johnson launched their major internet interactive work, Seances, which enables anyone online to “hold seances with” randomly combined fragments of canonical lost films remade by Maddin on sets installed in public spaces, most notably during three weeks of shooting at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

In 2015 The Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York mounted a two-person show featuring the collage work of Maddin and poet John Ashbery. In 2016 Maddin had solo collage shows at LKAP Gallery in Winnipeg and The Drake Hotel in Toronto.

Twice Maddin has won America's National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Experimental Film, with Archangel (1991) and The Heart of the World (2001). He has been bestowed many other awards, including the Telluride Silver Medal in 1995, the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Persistence of Vision Award in 2006, and an Emmy for his ballet film Dracula – Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002). Maddin is a print journalist and author of three books.

 He is also a member of The Order of Canada & The Order of Manitoba.



“[Maddin is] the most reluctantly radical and humorously tortured maverick working in the movies today.”  -- John Waters


"He belongs in the tradition of obsessional, poetic tale spinners and studio craftsmen such as Erich von Stroheim, F.W. Murnau, Josef von Sternberg, Jacques Tourneur, and Michael Powell, who bend public materials toward private ends and take us on a feverish ride"  -- Jonathan Rosenbaum