Prairie Scene

The largest gathering of Manitoba and Saskatchewan artists ever presented outside the Prairies!

April 26 to May 8, 2011

Media Centre

Guy Maddin’s breakthrough film “reframed” for Prairie Scene festival

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tickets on sale now

The National Arts Centre’s Prairie Scene is thrilled to announce the world premiere presentation of Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed, a one-of-a-kind artistic collaboration that brings together a group of extraordinary artists to revisit and re-imagine Guy Maddin’s breakthrough film.

For one night only – in the NAC Theatre on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at 8:30 p.m. – Ottawa audiences will have an opportunity to experience the unique blending of exceptionally gifted, artistically intrepid talent that will result in the not-to-be-missed live multimedia event of the year. Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed will feature a newly commissioned musical score by Winnipeg composer Matthew Patton, performed live on stage by Icelandic musicians associated with Icelandic superbands Sigur Ros, Amiina and múm. The film event will also include live Foley performed by Seattle’s Aono Jikken Ensemble, and live narration by cult film superstar Udo Kier (Blood for Dracula, Flesh for Frankenstein, Dogville, The Kingdom).This mutually enriching creative ensemble will regenerate an internationally beloved and critically acclaimed cult film classic, and shed new light on the work of one of the world’s most compelling filmmakers.  Director Guy Maddin will participate in a question and answer session immediately following the event.

Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed  is a Prairie Scene commission with Performa, with the support of Manitoba Film and Music, The Winnipeg Foundation and the Winnipeg Film Group, presented in collaboration with Iceland Naturally and Icelandair.

Guy Maddin’s filmic output to date – nine feature-length projects and innumerable shorts – is a remarkable canon of fantasia. Tales from the Gimli Hospital, which was his first feature, appeared in 1988 and became a midnight-movie classic. His second, Archangel, won the U.S. National Film Critics Award for best experimental film. Since then he has won many other awards – including the Telluride Silver Medal for life achievement in 1995 and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s prestigious Persistence of Vision award in 2006 – and created dozens of beguiling films in his unique personal styleinspired by the aesthetics and melodramatic flourishes of silent cinema, Central European literature and the desolation of his native Winnipeg. Among his internationally celebrated feature works are The Saddest Music in the World (in 2003 with Isabella Rossellini and Mark McKinney); Brand upon the Brain! (in 2006 with guest narrators Crispin Glover, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, among others); and My Winnipeg (in 2007). Maddin is also a writer and teacher, and occupies the position of Distinguished Filmmaker in Residence at the University of Manitoba.

Released theatrically in 1988 to acclaim from critics and the public alike, Tales from the Gimli Hospital is now regarded as one of the true cult hits of the 1980s—a bizarre entry on the midnight movie circuit that found an eager audience and set its director’s career in motion.

Set during a smallpox epidemic in the village of Gimli, Manitoba near the turn of the century, Tales from the Gimli Hospitalis a dreamlike, elliptical film which explores the bizarre, interconnected relationship of two men who share a hospital room "in a Gimli we no longer know." Einar (Kyle McCulloch) and Gunnar (Michael Gottli) are friends at first, until they reveal their darkest secrets to each other. Tales of creeping pestilence, unconsummated passions, reckless envy and necrophilia are told, climaxing in a deadly battle between the two patients, now rivals. Does a better world await these two lost souls on Earth...or in Heaven?

Much of the original Tales from the Gimli Hospital is silent, except for the intentional scratches and pops of the film’s wonderfully archaic soundtrack. Excluding a couple of startling tinted hallucination scenes near the end, it is filmed in deep black and white.

Tickets for Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed are $25 and can be purchased at , in person at the NAC Box Office, or through Ticketmaster at 1.888.991.2787.

Prairie Scene is an eclectic, multi-disciplinary arts festival featuring 500 of the best established and emerging artists from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Prairie Scene will present 80 different events in music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, literature, film and culinary arts in more than 30 venues in Ottawa-Gatineau from April 26 to May 8, 2011.  Tickets for all Prairie Scene events are on sale now, including a festival pass for six events at only $49. Visit to find out more about programming and the pass.


Prairie Scene would like to thank the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support of this event.

The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledge the support of Co-presenting Partners MTS Allstream (Manitoba) and PotashCorp (Saskatchewan), Major Partner Enbridge Inc, Supporting Partners Greystone Managed Investments, James Richardson & Sons Limited, TransCanada Pipelines Limited, and Holiday Inn, and Programming Partners The Mosaic CompanyManitoba Film and Music,  Iceland Naturally and theWinnipeg Foundation. Prairie Scene Media Partners include Major Partner CBC/Radio-Canada, and Partners National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Le Droit, Winnipeg Free Press, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Dollco Printing.

For their commitment to supporting Prairie arts and artists, we give special thanks to Gail Asper and Michael Paterson, Marjorie and Morley Blankstein, the John and Bonnie Buhler Foundation, Adrian Burns and Gregory Kane, Q.C., Ian and Kiki Delaney, David and Margaret Fountain, Susan Glass and Arni Thorsteinson, Deborah Gray,  Stephen and Jocelyn Greenberg,  Peter Herrndorf and Eva Czigler, Doris and Charles Knight, Craig and Pamela Lothian, Gail and David O’Brien, Stefan and Magdalena Opalski, Harriett and Isadore Wolfe as well as Jim andLisa Yuel.

The NAC Foundation also extends a warm thank you to the Prairie Scene Council, a committed group of individuals whose leadership, support and guidance are key to the success of Prairie Scene. The Prairie Scene Council is led by Manitoba Honorary Chairs John andBonnie Buhler, Saskatchewan Honorary Chair Tami Wall, Manitoba Chair Gail Asper and Saskatchewan Chair E. Craig Lothian. Members include Adrian Burns, Catherine A. (Kiki) Delaney, Leslie Gales, Susan Glass and Arni Thorsteinson, Wayne Goranson and Heather Quale, Lynda Haverstock and Harley Olsen, Charles and Doris Knight, D’Arcy Levesque, Brian and Gail Saunders, Pamela Wallin, and Harriett Wolfe.