One Paragraph Movie Review: Heaven and Earth Magic
Two hundred and twenty-third movie: Heaven and Earth Magic, a pile of surrealist stop-motion ‘let’s juxtapose old-timey images and let them create new meaning’ art wank that I refused to finish watching. I get it. I get it. I get it. I have the literal university qualifications to assure you that I get it. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to watch it all the way through. It doesn’t matter how cleverly you mine the past for black and white images and then make them clunkily dance on and off the screen with trowelled-on juxtapositional whimsy, the only notes I took when watching this was at twelve seconds in, when I wrote “I’m annoyed already”. Widely described as ‘avant-garde cut-out animation’, I imagine that even avant-garde cut-out animation enthusiasts find this one a bit of a snore when they’re not busy taking a good hard look at themselves in the mirror. When I read a review of this that started with “Harry Smith is perhaps the least known major figure of American avant-garde cinema”, I screamed “I KNOW WHY I KNOW WHY”. Because no. Zero dancing pharaoh tombs to a howling wind soundtrack out of five.