Careful


1h 40m 1992

Brief Synopsis

Strange passions run amok in the alpine village of Tolzbad, whose residents live in obsessive silence, walking on tenterhooks to avoid the constant threat of avalanches, icy paths and lightning strikes that seem to plague them.

Film Details

Release Date
1992
Production Company
Claude Forest

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Synopsis

Strange passions run amok in the alpine village of Tolzbad, whose residents live in obsessive silence, walking on tenterhooks to avoid the constant threat of avalanches, icy paths and lightning strikes that seem to plague them.

Crew

Kelley Alexander

Acknowledgment

Kalvin Asmundson

Acknowledgment

Pamela Athayde

Makeup

Lorne Bailey

Other

Andre Bennett

Executive Producer

Tim Bewcyk

Gaffer

Alexander Bohr

Special Thanks To

Gigi Boyd

Acknowledgment

Carolyn Bradshaw

Wardrobe

Gwen Brandt

Acknowledgment

Shelagh Carter

Casting

Larry E Clark

Carpenter

Nora Currie

Acknowledgment

Marion Degraves

Wardrobe

Deanna Desrosiers

Wardrobe

Michael Drabot

Dailies

Russ Dyck

Adr

Russ Dyck

Sound

Claude Forest

Production Insurance

Kim Forrest

Makeup

Gloria Gibb

Production Accountant

Ron Gorsline

Other

Peter Haley

Acknowledgment

Ian Handford

Assistant Editor

Ian Handford

Property Master

Karen Harvich

Construction

Leona Harvich

Wardrobe

Pamela Hawthorne

Acknowledgment

Stewart Hayek

Animal Wrangler

Angela Heck

Wardrobe

Matt Holm

Acknowledgment

Matt Holm

Art Department

Ray Impey

Construction

Sasha Iwanick

Production Coordinator

Liz Jarvis

Assistant Director

Greg Klymkiw

Producer

Greg Klymkiw

Casting Director

Joanne Klymkiw

Acknowledgment

Randy Kray

Carpenter

Brad Linden

Caterer

Susan Lisoway

Animal Wrangler

Linda Madden

Adr Editor

Steve Madden

Grip

Guy Maddin

Production Designer

Guy Maddin

Screenplay

Guy Maddin

Director Of Photography

Guy Maddin

Sound Editor

Guy Maddin

Editor

Andy Malcolm

Foley Artist

Campbell Martin

Acknowledgment

Campbell Martin

Construction

Jack Martin

Construction

Jock Martin

Acknowledgment

Vivien Mcconkey

Acknowledgment

John Mcculloch

Music

Don Melnyk

Adr

Lorri Millan

Assistant Editor

Darren Mills

Acknowledgment

Darren Mills

Construction

Neil Minuk

Props Buyer

Karri Moffat

Other

Karri Moffat

Makeup

Pierre Naday

Dailies

Roy Norton

Acknowledgment

Richard O'brien-moran

Assistant Director

Franklin Pangborn

Acknowledgment

Daniel Pellerin

Sound Engineer

Conrad Percheson

Props Buyer

Bernice Peterson

Acknowledgment

Geoff Pevere

Editor

Marlowe Phillips

Construction

H Pokus

Acknowledgment

Michael Powell

Props Buyer

Don Robinson

Acknowledgment

Deanne Rohde

Other

Bryan Sanders

Camera Assistant

Sandra Seaman

Wardrobe

Kelli Shinfield

Assistant

Kelli Shinfield

Production Assistant

Peter Skelton

Acknowledgment

Dean Smallwood

Set Designer

Dean Smallwood

Construction Coordinator

Steve Snyder

Assistant

Steve Snyder

Other

Jeff Solylo

Art Director

Jeff Solylo

Photography

Diane Sparkes

Acknowledgment

Sherri Starkell

Props Buyer

Mary Sylvester

Production Assistant

Mary Sylvester

Art Department

Donna Szoke

Costumes

Donna Szoke

Makeup

Hans Ter Horst

Assistant Editor

Hans Ter Horst

Continuity

George Toles

From Story

George Toles

Screenplay

Tracy Traeger

Production Manager

Tracy Traeger

Producer

Gerrie Van Heck

Props Buyer

Gerrie Van Heck

Assistant

Gerrie Van Heck

Sound

Larry Van Went

Other

Darrell Varga

Acknowledgment

Caelum Vatnsdal

Camera Assistant

Caelum Vatnsdal

Props Buyer

Carole Vivier

Acknowledgment

Craig Walls

Set Designer

Craig Walls

Construction Coordinator

Keith Walls

Carpenter

Daniel Weinzweig

Acknowledgment

Justine Whyte

Acknowledgment

Film Details

Release Date
1992
Production Company
Claude Forest

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Articles

Careful - The Remastered Version of Guy Maddin's CAREFUL on DVD


It'd be foolhardy by now to underestimate the reimagining superpowers of Canadian indie filmmaker Guy Maddin, whose recent trilogy of meta-anti-semi-autobiographical films, Cowards Bend the Knee (2003), Brand Upon the Brain! (2006) and My Winnipeg (2007), have won him a new audience amid alternative-seeking young audiences in the Netflix age. Sure enough, his current syntax of neurotic digital hyper-editing and crazed first-person attack can not only cook your synapses but can also reveal to new cinephiles how much can be done with very little – shadow, nerve and raw invention, mostly. But Maddin's style and material has evolved – his first films were not so lean and self-focused, and were in many ways more ambitious. Not only were their narratives and contexts outrageously devised and thickly historical, but Maddin's visual tropes were more explicitly referential – that is, Tales of the Gimli Hospital (1988), Archangel (1990) and Careful (1992) were self-consciously realized as faux-antiques, deliberately abused and weathered and worn to resemble lost, early-sound remnants, evoking various genuine late-20s-early-30s genres. (Missing frames are common, as are audio tracks that sound as if they've been recorded off old Vitaphone records.) All by itself, the films' intimate relationship with history made them remarkable in a pop culture that can barely remember last summer's blockbusters, and in this, Maddin could have been typified as a cinephilic archivist gone berserk. But the films were never directly pastiches, or, really, entirely similar to any other films ever made. Pulpily grave, hilariously deadpan, cheesily absurd, so doped on non sequitur that their dense stories read like the ramblings of a delusional, Maddin's movies are retro-ironic, but they are also undeniably sui generis.

The vocabulary plumbed in his first films derives mostly from early British and Soviet films (put through a postmod blender, of course), but Careful, Maddin's first color film, has its roots in the German, Arnold Franck-Leni Reifenstahl "mountain" films of the '20s, scrambled with Johanna Spyri, Wagnerian romance, and Robert Walser's Jacob von Gunten, whipped into a Freudian whirlpool. The film opens with a portrait of Tolzbad, an Alpine village (mustered out of papier-mache, forced perspective, lens fog and blinding light in a Canadian warehouse) where the slightest sound can inspire an avalanche. Even the animals' vocal cords are cut; in one scene we glimpse a dog soundlessly barking. The narrator warns the denizens ("Careful! Careful!") that every noise, as well as every impulse to behave improprietously, must be hushed. "You'd better put your name on your new toothbrush," a mother warns early on, "before an accident happens." Tolzbad reveals itself, not surprisingly, as a hotbed of repressed impulses, and its Candyland cheeriness is soon tainted by jealousy, incest, suicide and murder.

It's a beautifully concise concept – the floridly colored Expressionist sets, fake shadows, chintzy high-school-play decor and obvious miniatures invoke a sealed world where real human dramas are to be playacted out as if by toy soldiers in a treehouse. Orson Welles once called a movie set the biggest train set a kid ever had, and Maddin takes him at his word; Careful is nothing if not a masterpiece of ersatz style and fully imagined writing over budgetary limitations. It's also more viewer-friendly than the earlier movies, the narrative lines drawn thickly along clear currents of Oedipal angst. Two Tolzbad brothers, Grigorss (Maddin regular Kyle McCulloch) and Johann (Brent Neale), live with their voluptuous mother (Gosia Dobrowolska) and attend the Tolzbad Butler Gymnasium in hopes of someday being hired by the local Count as a manservant. Soon to be married to Klara (Sarah Neville), for whom Grigorss also pines, Johann becomes dreamily obsessed with his own mother (eventually drugging her and fondling her in her sleep) and is driven to paroxysms of suicidal, self-mutilating guilt. Klara has her own closeted skeletons, too, driven by a jealous hankering for her incestuous father, which is eventually confessed to Grigorss in her lofty mountain hiding place between oxygen-depleted yawns. There's even a mute and attic-secreted third brother, Franz (Vince Rimmer), who alone is visited, Hamlet-like by the ghost of the family's blind father (the ghost is blind, too) warning of the calamities to come. The neurotic vectors cross and criss-cross, and Careful becomes that rare thing, a whimsical tragedy.

Of course, the whim is Maddin's, and like all of his films Careful is constructed around its own apparent dissolution. For movieheads, the textual chinks are the big laugh-getters; no other filmmaker has gotten so much from so little. It's an irony surely not lost on Maddin that the intentional technical crudity of his films seems more assured and canny than the polish of contemporary industry Edsels costing 60 times the cash. With its use of mandarin color-tinting, waxen performances (Maddin is as stylized with his actors as Kubrick), and Maddin's trademarked purplish dialogue ("You're as fresh and sound as a rose," Johann tells Klara early on), Careful is an impish movie-movie no less hilarious and gorgeous for its often astounding technical somersaults and authorial jerryrigging.

And the irony continues: the new "remastered and repressed" DVD edition from Zeitgeist, as splendid as it is, can furrow the brow – certainly, in one sense, any age, fading or happenstance that might scar a Maddin film further only continues his aesthetic. (The filmmakers would of course argue not; the bell jar is closed and airtight and thus it should remain.) At any rate, the disc's extras are notable: a feature documentary about the doomed production of Maddin's next film, Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, a new Maddin commentary (yet another layer of impish disingenuousness, from a director who never tells the truth), and, best of all, the director's sublime and startling BBC-commissioned five-minute dream-short on the art of Odilon Redon, titled Odilon Redon, or The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity (1995).

For more information about Careful, visit Zeitgeist Films. To order Careful, go to TCM Shopping.

by Michael Atkinson
Careful - The Remastered Version Of Guy Maddin's Careful On Dvd

Careful - The Remastered Version of Guy Maddin's CAREFUL on DVD

It'd be foolhardy by now to underestimate the reimagining superpowers of Canadian indie filmmaker Guy Maddin, whose recent trilogy of meta-anti-semi-autobiographical films, Cowards Bend the Knee (2003), Brand Upon the Brain! (2006) and My Winnipeg (2007), have won him a new audience amid alternative-seeking young audiences in the Netflix age. Sure enough, his current syntax of neurotic digital hyper-editing and crazed first-person attack can not only cook your synapses but can also reveal to new cinephiles how much can be done with very little – shadow, nerve and raw invention, mostly. But Maddin's style and material has evolved – his first films were not so lean and self-focused, and were in many ways more ambitious. Not only were their narratives and contexts outrageously devised and thickly historical, but Maddin's visual tropes were more explicitly referential – that is, Tales of the Gimli Hospital (1988), Archangel (1990) and Careful (1992) were self-consciously realized as faux-antiques, deliberately abused and weathered and worn to resemble lost, early-sound remnants, evoking various genuine late-20s-early-30s genres. (Missing frames are common, as are audio tracks that sound as if they've been recorded off old Vitaphone records.) All by itself, the films' intimate relationship with history made them remarkable in a pop culture that can barely remember last summer's blockbusters, and in this, Maddin could have been typified as a cinephilic archivist gone berserk. But the films were never directly pastiches, or, really, entirely similar to any other films ever made. Pulpily grave, hilariously deadpan, cheesily absurd, so doped on non sequitur that their dense stories read like the ramblings of a delusional, Maddin's movies are retro-ironic, but they are also undeniably sui generis. The vocabulary plumbed in his first films derives mostly from early British and Soviet films (put through a postmod blender, of course), but Careful, Maddin's first color film, has its roots in the German, Arnold Franck-Leni Reifenstahl "mountain" films of the '20s, scrambled with Johanna Spyri, Wagnerian romance, and Robert Walser's Jacob von Gunten, whipped into a Freudian whirlpool. The film opens with a portrait of Tolzbad, an Alpine village (mustered out of papier-mache, forced perspective, lens fog and blinding light in a Canadian warehouse) where the slightest sound can inspire an avalanche. Even the animals' vocal cords are cut; in one scene we glimpse a dog soundlessly barking. The narrator warns the denizens ("Careful! Careful!") that every noise, as well as every impulse to behave improprietously, must be hushed. "You'd better put your name on your new toothbrush," a mother warns early on, "before an accident happens." Tolzbad reveals itself, not surprisingly, as a hotbed of repressed impulses, and its Candyland cheeriness is soon tainted by jealousy, incest, suicide and murder. It's a beautifully concise concept – the floridly colored Expressionist sets, fake shadows, chintzy high-school-play decor and obvious miniatures invoke a sealed world where real human dramas are to be playacted out as if by toy soldiers in a treehouse. Orson Welles once called a movie set the biggest train set a kid ever had, and Maddin takes him at his word; Careful is nothing if not a masterpiece of ersatz style and fully imagined writing over budgetary limitations. It's also more viewer-friendly than the earlier movies, the narrative lines drawn thickly along clear currents of Oedipal angst. Two Tolzbad brothers, Grigorss (Maddin regular Kyle McCulloch) and Johann (Brent Neale), live with their voluptuous mother (Gosia Dobrowolska) and attend the Tolzbad Butler Gymnasium in hopes of someday being hired by the local Count as a manservant. Soon to be married to Klara (Sarah Neville), for whom Grigorss also pines, Johann becomes dreamily obsessed with his own mother (eventually drugging her and fondling her in her sleep) and is driven to paroxysms of suicidal, self-mutilating guilt. Klara has her own closeted skeletons, too, driven by a jealous hankering for her incestuous father, which is eventually confessed to Grigorss in her lofty mountain hiding place between oxygen-depleted yawns. There's even a mute and attic-secreted third brother, Franz (Vince Rimmer), who alone is visited, Hamlet-like by the ghost of the family's blind father (the ghost is blind, too) warning of the calamities to come. The neurotic vectors cross and criss-cross, and Careful becomes that rare thing, a whimsical tragedy. Of course, the whim is Maddin's, and like all of his films Careful is constructed around its own apparent dissolution. For movieheads, the textual chinks are the big laugh-getters; no other filmmaker has gotten so much from so little. It's an irony surely not lost on Maddin that the intentional technical crudity of his films seems more assured and canny than the polish of contemporary industry Edsels costing 60 times the cash. With its use of mandarin color-tinting, waxen performances (Maddin is as stylized with his actors as Kubrick), and Maddin's trademarked purplish dialogue ("You're as fresh and sound as a rose," Johann tells Klara early on), Careful is an impish movie-movie no less hilarious and gorgeous for its often astounding technical somersaults and authorial jerryrigging. And the irony continues: the new "remastered and repressed" DVD edition from Zeitgeist, as splendid as it is, can furrow the brow – certainly, in one sense, any age, fading or happenstance that might scar a Maddin film further only continues his aesthetic. (The filmmakers would of course argue not; the bell jar is closed and airtight and thus it should remain.) At any rate, the disc's extras are notable: a feature documentary about the doomed production of Maddin's next film, Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, a new Maddin commentary (yet another layer of impish disingenuousness, from a director who never tells the truth), and, best of all, the director's sublime and startling BBC-commissioned five-minute dream-short on the art of Odilon Redon, titled Odilon Redon, or The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity (1995). For more information about Careful, visit Zeitgeist Films. To order Careful, go to TCM Shopping. by Michael Atkinson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1993

Released in United States November 5, 1993

Released in United States on Video October 17, 2000

Released in United States 1992

Released in United States May 1992

Released in United States September 1992

Released in United States October 1992

Released in United States January 1993

Released in United States 2001

Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.

Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (Young Cinema Competition) September 25 - October 4, 1992.

Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 7-18, 1992.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Perspective Canada) September 10-19, 1992.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival October 2-18, 1992.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 27 - October 12, 2001.

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1993

Released in United States November 5, 1993 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video October 17, 2000

Began shooting July 1991.

Completed shooting August 1991.

Film noted: "Dedicated with respect and friendship to Dennis Jakob."

Released in United States 1992 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.)

Released in United States 1992 (Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (Young Cinema Competition) September 25 - October 4, 1992.)

Released in United States May 1992 (Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 7-18, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Perspective Canada) September 10-19, 1992.)

Released in United States October 1992 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival October 2-18, 1992.)

Released in United States January 1993 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival January 21-31, 1993.)

Released in United States 2001 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 27 - October 12, 2001.)