The Saddest Music in the World 2003

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Working from a screenplay written by Kazuro Ishiguro, Canadian director Guy Madden creates a unique drama set in Great Depression Winnipeg, where a motely crew of contestants arrive to compete for the title of making the saddest music in the world. Obviously, that doesn’t sound like much fun, but the gallery of bizarre characters involved make Madden’s film compulsive viewing, particularly Isabella Rossellini, who plays contest organizer Lady Helen Port-Huntley. She’s quite literally legless, since both of her legs have been amputated and replaced with glass limbs which can be filled with beer. That’s only a taste of the surreal wit of Madden’s film, a maudlin song competition that plays like a tribute to the eccentricity of silent cinema; if you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen The Saddest Music In the World.

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