North Adams, MA - Canadian director Guy Maddin’s 2003 musical comedy, The Saddest Music in the World, lights up the big screen in a matinee showing at MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Set in Maddin’s hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the film is a brilliant blend of funny, strange, and sad, and full to the brim with Maddin’s signature off-kilter genius.
Maddin’s odd masterpiece is set in Canada in 1933 during the Great Depression. In honor of Winnipeg’s being named the “Sorrow Capital of the World” for the fourth consecutive year, beer baroness Lady Port-Huntley organizes a worldwide contest to discover which nation has the saddest piece of music. Musicians descend upon Winnipeg for their chance to win first prize — $25,000. Although the event draws contestants from across the globe, it ultimately boils down to competition within one family: a patriotic Canadian father and his two sons, one representing the United States, and the other representing Serbia.
The Saddest Music in the World stars Mark McKinney, Isabella Rossellini, Maria de Medeiros, David Fox, and Ross McMillan. Like many of Maddin’s films, this sort-of musical utilizes a lo-fi look and sound, similar to the silent movies and early talkies of 1930s cinema. The Saddest Music in the World is filmed mostly in grainy black and white and with slightly out-of-sync sound. Maddin was named Best Director by the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival for this work, and the film garnered many other honors from the Directors Guild of Canada, the Genie Awards, and the Chlotrudis Awards.
The film is presented in conjunction with Oh, Canada, MASS MoCA’s most recently opened exhibition on view in the galleries through April 2013. Oh, Canada is presented by TD Bank Group and the Canada Council for the Arts.
The Saddest Music in the World screens in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, October 27, at 4 PM. Club B-10 is an intimate, casual venue on the third floor of MASS MoCA. Tickets are $5 per person. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 AM until 5 PM (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501(c)(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.