Canadian Filmmaker Guy Maddin Debuts Interactive Film Experience ‘Seances’ Online

Guy Maddin, the unconventional Canadian filmmaker, has partnered with the National Film Board of Canada to bring a unique film experience online.

Called “Seances”;, the interactive experience dynamically reimagines and assembles lost films in a never-to-be-repeated online configuration for the viewer. Maddin’s inspiration for the project is rooted in the disappearing films of the silent era for which there are no surviving prints. “Almost every director working in the first half‐century of film history has lost at least one film to the quirks of fate,”; Maddin said of the disappearing films. “These lost works remind me of ghosts.”;

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With “Seances”; the director attempts to mimic the lost films of the era through a data-driven algorithm which is used to create mash-ups of film for a one-time-only online viewing. Each click on the website conjures a wholly unique and original short film viewing experience.

Maddin drew inspiration from the lost films of cinematic greats Alice Guy‐Blaché, Alexander Dovzhenko, Jacques Feyder, Benjamin Fondane, Alfred Hitchcock and more. The director called upon a cast of Canadian and international actors to help him reimagine some of these missing works, including Mathieu Amalric, Geraldine Chaplin, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Caroline Dhavernas and Karine Vanasse.

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Co-created with Evan and Galen Johnson, the films that make up “Seances”; span a wide breadth of cinematic history and are not just modern takes on the silent era.

The “Seances”; experience debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival as an installation-based exhibit before making its way online. To conjure your own “lost”; film, visit www.nfb.ca/seances.

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