Movies: Heady Brew

Guy Maddin serves up an intoxicating musical

In 1933 Warner Bros. made perky musicals designed to snap Americans out of their depression. In Canada, as filmmaker Guy Maddin imagines it, a rich woman dreamed of exploiting, not exorcising, the world's misery. Lady Port-Huntly (Isabella Rossellini), a scheming beer baroness whose two glass legs are filled with her own brew, concocts a song contest with a $25,000 prize for the saddest music in the world. In return, milady will have the ideal promo for the end of Prohibition in the U.S. As she promises, "If you're sad and like beer, I'm your lady."

Cinephiles know the Winnipeg-based Maddin (Tales...

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