Dennis D. McDonald ( is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on and aNewDomain.


By Dennis D. McDonald

This is my first Maddin film. What first came to mind as I was watching it, trying to figure out what to compare it to, was "This looks like what the residents of Nightmare Before Christmas's Halloween Town would have dreamed up had someone asked them to create a sensitive comedy about human sadness."

It's a lovely film to look at, a look that Maddin and his team have developed with scrupulous attention to detail and with an obsession about keeping production costs as cheap as possible while maximizing creative flair. At times the images look as if they are filmed within a glass snow-globe, at other times Vaseline smearing on the camera lens (Super 8 in many cases) imparts a luminous halo to the grainy black and white image. None of this takes away from this being a weird film. I guess that is a Maddin trademark.

Even the three short "vignettes" on the DVD impart the same sense of disoriented deja-vu that blesses the full length film. If you like off-beat stuff, you'll like this one. You might even want to watch the "making of" documentary first as this may increase your respect and enjoyment of the film.

Japanese Story