Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan’s newest film REMEMBER will screen as the Opening Night Film of the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, and fellow Canadian Guy Maddin’s new feature THE FORBIDDEN ROOM will screen as the Closing Night Film. The Woodstock Film Fest will also honor the filmmakers; ATOM EGOYAN will receive the Honorary Maverick Award and GUY MADDIN will receive the Fiercely Independent Award.
REMEMBER, making its US Premiere at WFF, tells the story of Zev Guttman (Academy Award® Winner Christopher Plummer), a 90-year-old struggling with memory loss who is living out his final years in a bucolic retirement home. A week following the death of his beloved wife Ruth, he suddenly gets a mysterious package from his close friend Max (Academy Award® Winner Martin Landau), containing a stack of money, a gun, and a letter detailing a shocking plan. Both Zev and Max were prisoners in Auschwitz, and the same sadistic guard was responsible for the death of both their families—a guard who, immediately after the war, escaped Germany and has been living in the U.S. ever since under an assumed identity. Max is wheelchair-bound but in full command of his mental faculties; with his guidance, Zev will embark on a cross-continental road-trip to bring justice once and for all to the man who destroyed both their lives.
THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, is Maddin’s ultimate epic phantasmagoria. Honoring classic cinema while electrifying it with energy, this Russian nesting doll of a film begins with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within. Suddenly, impossibly, a lost woodsman wanders into their company and tells his tale of escaping from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers. From here, Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson take us high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas. Playing like some glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein and a perverted six year-old child, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Maddin’s grand ode to lost cinema.
image 1: Christopher Plummer stars in Remember, ATOM EGOYAN
image 2: The Forbidden Room (2015), Guy Maddin