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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Cowards Bend the Knee
Directed by Guy Maddin • 2003 • Canada
Starring Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart
Adapted from a ten-part peephole installation, COWARDS BEND THE KNEE is jam-packed with enough kinetically photographed action to seem like a never-ending cliff-hanger. In this twisted and poisoned tale of wish fulfillment, the mythomaniacal Maddin casts “himself” (played by Darcy Fehr) as a hockey sniper made lily-livered by mother-and-daughter femmes fatales. Set in a shadow-suffused hockey arena and a mysterious beauty salon/abortion clinic, this delirious silent fever dream writhes with Oedipal perversity as sordid family secrets spawn unintentional murder most foul.