Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The darkly surreal world of the Gimli Hospital
This is a surreal film from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, his first feature. The story focuses on the town of Gimli, Manitoba, a long time ago, during an outbreak of smallpox. Two patients in a strange hospital become friends, then deadly rivals. The film is in its own surreal world, with the town of Gimli featuring unconventional behaviour, like the people washing their...
Published on November 9, 2000 by Wayne

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MAKES YOUR HMO LOOK GOOD
...
"TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL" is the black and white first film from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin and it reflects the best of the great silent and surrealist directors like F.W. Murnau, Luis Bunuel and Jean Cocteau. Originally released in 1988, this 68 minute nightmare is set during a smallpox epidemic in the village of Gimli, Manitoba, at the beginning of...
Published on July 21, 2002 by Robin Simmons


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The darkly surreal world of the Gimli Hospital, November 9, 2000
By 
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
This is a surreal film from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, his first feature. The story focuses on the town of Gimli, Manitoba, a long time ago, during an outbreak of smallpox. Two patients in a strange hospital become friends, then deadly rivals. The film is in its own surreal world, with the town of Gimli featuring unconventional behaviour, like the people washing their faces with straw, squeezing the insides of fish onto their heads, rubbing dead birds onto patient's wounds, a weird black-faced minstrel, a cow that lives under a bed, and many fishes that are present in most scenes. It really is a special piece of low budget surreal filmmaking, and is deservedly compared to David Lynch's Eraserhead.
The DVD is quite good too. The picture is in full frame, and the image is good, giving the film its dark & peculiar look well. The sound is in mono and ok. The extras include an insightful commentary by director Guy Maddin, who describes everything about the film, and the trials of making it. The disc also includes two short Guy Maddin films, Hospital Fragment and The Dead Father. Both films are good, and not disimilar to the feature. It's refreshing to see a company like Kino releasing abstract films like this on to the DVD format. If you like surreal films, you have to own this disc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Specialized Sensibilities, May 2, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
Guy Maddin is the weirdest of the weirdest of the weird, so it's not surprising that some customer reviewers who generally like "wierd stuff" were disappointed by this, his first and most uncompromising full-length outing. He's way more idiosynchratic and insular even than early Lynch or Cronenberg. There is actually a coherent and macabrely funny story here about a male rivalry between two patients in the weirdest of all hospitals during the legendary (for Icelandic Manitobans, of which I am one) smallpox epidemic in the Icelandic settlement of Gimli. But after the movie's (really gross and distastefully misogynous) climactic revelation about the secret history that binds the two men, it loses itself in incomprehensible and very boring artsy nonsense.
The film didn't say much to me on a first viewing, but parts of it have stayed with me. It really only deserves 3 stars as a whole, but I'll give it 4 because the early montage sequence featuring a series of bizarre (but historically faithful!) Icelandic grooming rituals is a surrealist treat, and both the VHS and DVD include Maddin's first film, the short film "The Dead Father," which is maybe the most emotionally lucid thing he's ever done and very funny for those who like black, surealistic humour. Further caveats: the production values and the acting are on a par with Ed Wood (the director, not the Burton movie), so don't expect polish, but the male leads have genuine charisma and Maddin has a superb visual sense, although it's more on display in his second feature, the ravishing "Archangel."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MAKES YOUR HMO LOOK GOOD, July 21, 2002
By 
Robin Simmons (Palm Springs area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
...
"TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL" is the black and white first film from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin and it reflects the best of the great silent and surrealist directors like F.W. Murnau, Luis Bunuel and Jean Cocteau. Originally released in 1988, this 68 minute nightmare is set during a smallpox epidemic in the village of Gimli, Manitoba, at the beginning of the 20th century. Friends Emar and Gunnar are two male patients who share a hospital room as well as their darkest secrets. Disturbing tales of creeping pestilence, unconsummated passions, envy, necrophilia are told climaxing in a deadly battle between the former friends now rivals. Moody, weird and atmospheric, the Gimli universe has been embraced by the midnight movie circuit and set the director's career in motion. The disc includes a crisp full frame transfer, an impish director's commentary and two of his short films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gorgeous Melding of the Surreal and Folklore, June 17, 1999
By 
From the very first frame, Guy Maddin's offbeat "Tales from the Gimli Hospital" takes us into a brilliantly conceived world where the surreal and the ancient merge to form one of the most unique and thrilling cinematic realms ever seen. Combining gothic sensibility with early twentieth century silent film techniques, Maddin creates an atmosphere drenched with visual delights, horrors and deep rooted symbolism. What Maddin has done with this film is create a visionary work that is nearly flawless. Although the film takes many viewings to fully sink in due to its strange structure and deliberately labyrinthine story telling, it is a fully realized piece of avant-garde cinema in the tradition of the great works of the silent German Expressionists. By taking ancient Icelandic folktales and blending them with incongrous and fantastical images onto a black and white celluloid canvas, Maddin has done with one film what few directors ever accomplish in their entire carreers ....the creation of a truly unique and worthy piece of cinemtaic art!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Maddin delivers !, August 16, 2001
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
Visually stunning with great atmosphere and offbeat performances this is one of the most overseen films of the past 10 years. Guy Maddin is definitely a director to watch while the transfer of this disc was done very careful(got it?)ly. There's also a cool audio commentary with the director and two short films: "The Dead Father" (great !) and "Hospital Fragment".
For the record: buy this thing and be happy - period.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early and terrific Guy Maddin, June 30, 2002
By 
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
This is the Guy Maddin film that's his best-known because of its relative easiness to get ahold of, although it's also his earliest feature. GIMLI shows all of Maddin's obsessions with early expressionistic film and early twentieth-century Nordic culture in full flower. There's also some of his trademark black humor (though not as much as in his later films--this film never gets funnier than the framing sequence with Amma and the children at the very beginning). Maddin takes more time here to show scenes of great visual beauty, something he sadly rushes through somewhat in his later films. His favorite male actor, Kyle McCullogh, is at his handsomest here--it's a good film to watch to be introduced to Maddin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not Eraserhead!, February 28, 2002
By 
Blahblahblah (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
As much as I love both this film and Eraserhead, there is no real comparison. Both movies are black and white, have either drones or vintage sounding music for a soundtrack, and are very surreal, however Tales From the Gimli Hospital is in no way as depressing as Eraserhead and is more of a fun black comedy. Although Eraserhead may have also been an influence on Tales, I believe the similarities exist mainly because they have common influences, i.e. old silent movies, especially those by the German expressionists. There are long stretches in the film where there is almost no dialogue other than the narration, much like the cards occassionally flashed during silent movies. There is also a man in black face playing the traditional minstrel character out of 1920s movies which hopefully noone will take offence at. Even the titles and special effects are copied from old silent films.
The story itself is influenced by old Germanic and Scandanavian legends which often did tend to lean more towards surrealism than linear logic and were more concerned with making a more purely emotional point, and so it was only natural for the director to decide to film it in the style of old silent films which have a far more dreamlike quality to them than any style that has followed. Watching this tongue-in-cheek film with its amazing visuals depicting one interesting incident after another, is a fun and enjoyable experience for anyone who does not demand that stories always make sense.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute little wierd tale, August 12, 2002
By 
D. A "zona_rosa" (MEXICO DISTRITO FEDERAL, DISTRITO FEDERAL Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
I didnt like this one.
The effort is good though, it is clear that Madin did his best... Maybe it should have worked... but for me it didnt.
The picture is good, but the story is rather dull (even with the necrophilia thrown in) and... Well I really did not like the director sense of aesthetics.
Dont get me wrong I LOVE and I mean LOVE german expresionism, but the way Maddin did this one... Yuck!
I am giving it 3 stars because although I recognize this review is quite subjective, I acknowledge the production value and the dedication they put in this film... Nevertheless I did not liked it.
(did I mention that I did not like this one?)
If you like little wierd tales that kept themselves far, far away from your nerves you should buy this one, however. You will see it with a smile on your face.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars no sound!, April 29, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This VHS was totally blank of sound. They did reimburse us so it wasnt a total loss and we bought one elsewhere. Great artsy movie!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd just rented this one, January 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (DVD)
I liked the premise of this film and it had some beautiful shots. That said, after reading praising comparisons to "Eraserhead", it was a let down. For me at least, most surrealism seems to ultimately deal with the artist's psycho-sexual sub-conscience through extremely ambiguous symbolism at best. This film did have its moments, but overall, it came across as more of an ambitious film school project on a budget. Maybe it would have been more fun to watch with some sarcastic friends and a case of beer, but I found myself getting up to get a snack, use the bathroom and check email without bothering to hit the "pause" button, even the second time I watched it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Tales from the Gimli Hospital
Tales from the Gimli Hospital by Guy Maddin (DVD - 2000)
Used & New from: $19.50
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.