KEYHOLE (93', Canada, 2012) Read more

Director: GUY MADDIN


“A surreal indoor odyssey following one man’s struggle to reach his wife, KEYHOLE bewilders and captivates. MADDIN is known for creating new worlds governed by their own logic and rules, and the bizarre exists at every turn in KEYHOLE’s maze.” (Toronto IFF programmer, Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo)


“A movie like KEYHOLE plays like a fever dream using the elements of film noir but restlessly rearranging them in an attempt to force sense out of them. You have the elements lined up against a wall, and in some mercurial way, they slip free and attack you from behind.” (Roger Ebert)


“KEYHOLE is a deliciously disturbing dreamscape for audiences who want to follow one of today’s most fascinating film artists on another wild ride.” (Alonso Duralde, The Wrap)


“Starring Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini and Udo Kier, KEYHOLE is a dreamlike journey into the protagonist’s memory that explores the emotional ties that bind men to past grievances and suffering.  A pastiche of 1940s gangster-noir movies, it is loosely based on Homer’s The Odyssey, telling the story of a deadbeat father who works as a gangster, Ulysses Pick, as he returns home after a long absence. The man must traverse the web of corridors to reach the room where his dutiful wife awaits.


The labyrinth of the protagonist’s psyche is paralleled by the maze-like house, filled with ghosts and painful memories. The material plane becomes intertwined with the emotional and spiritual one in an exploration of the psychological impact produced by one's domestic environment. Maddin explains: “Each room in your childhood home would produce feelings; we all live in the present and the past simultaneously.” Whenever revisited, the rooms bring back to life those memories. Time is not understood linearly, but as simultaneous. The past and the present coexist; people who have passed away are in the same room as those still alive. Death is a permeable state, not a definitive one.


In the end, after the whirlwind of memories, looking through the keyhole, peeking into the innermost corners of your mind is like looking down the gun’s barrel and seeing the scars left behind by the past.” (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)