Jackie Burroughs  photo Doug Beube

THE DIRECTOR’S VISION: Altogether a domestic imbroglio.  Four self-absorbed artists living together in one mad house as if in one mad mind but all somewhere else who knows where, lost each in themselves and in their search for  the perpetually elusive love or joy or hope or whatever... in a night of craziness where nothing makes sense, their art, their fantasy, their relationships, all sheathed in a veneer of filmic formality and all amounting to nothing, dreams vanishing like the vapours of night at sunrise.

MOTION MAGAZINE: "...one of the finest films to come out of English Canada... one of the most effective film performances I've seen anywhere... a series of tightly-integrated confrontations between the players with a continuo of the absurd... there isn't one second in the film that isn't contributing to the director's vision and, in this respect, Monkeys in the Attic is the most tightly controlled Canadian feature I've seen... an intense and unusual film."

CINEMA CANADA: "...an extravagantly good-looking film, full of energy and inventiveness...male and female, gay and straight, dreams and realities, clowns and tragic people, seekers and forsakers, death and life itself are played off by this very skilful director... Jackie Burrough's "Wanda" is sensational and the rest of the cast equally impressive...a deeply moving, phenomenally funny film..."

Victor Garber and Jackie Burroughs         photo Doug Beube

Starring Victor Garber,
Jackie Burroughs, Jess Walton
Louis del Grande, Jim Henshaw

Winner Prix Khalimer, 1973,

Best Foreign Film, Toulon Film Festival, France

Produced and Directed by Morley Markson

Associate Producer, Assistant Director: John Board

Script: John Palmer & Morley Markson

Cinematography: Henri Fiks

Sound: Billy Nobels

Costumes and makeup: Vinetta Strombergs

Editor: M. Markson, Assistant: Eric Johannessen

Sets: Arnaud Maggs

Music: John Wyre with Nexus.

Financing: Canadian Film Development Corp.

Filmed in a sumptuous setting, fraught with emotions equally flamboyant and unrestrained. Wanda is weird, Frederick and Elaine exhaust each other, and Eric between musical compositions keeps playing bizarre games, reflecting all that goes on about him.  Why? One will never know.

    The drama here is sometimes in the clash of egos, sometimes in Elaine's detached trip into the realm of suicide. Each of this foursome feels incomplete, finding no satisfaction in the physical or emotional support of the other. Wanda wanders into bizarre playacting, changing character every moment. Frederick hangs on to his sanity in the confusion, failing Elaine who turns to pills and the bottle.

    Into this strangely at-odds menage steps Gus, the sweet, innocent pizza delivery boy. His imagination is baffled by what he sees as he succumbs to the pleasures of chaos. Soon enough he is taught the keys for existing in this house but will always remain mismatched.  Even this too has to end, for Gus, at least, has one pressing obligation to life. When the phone keeps ringing for him, he is the only one who fulfills his obligations: it is morning and the phone summons him back to the real world of pizza delivery.  Normalcy.  The night’s madness is forgotten, the sun rises shining on the morning dew as they all drive away. 

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