Heaven and Earth Magic (1962)
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There is absolutely no story in this. Just a bunch of random animations wobbling on the screen. And it's all quite abstract as well. Sizes and motions are all out of this world, so most of the time you really have no idea what you are watching. Stuff that happens just make no sense but all the worse; it doesn't even seem to have a point.
What was Harry Smith trying to tell with this movie or what was he trying to achieve with his animations? To me it probably will always remain a mystery, though some people still seem to be able to appreciate his work and especially this movie in particular. Glad some people still get something out of this movie. What's art to some is absolute rubbish to some others I guess.
Perhaps I could had still taken the movie if it was much shorter. An hour is just far too long for an pretentious, artistic, animated movie, in which absolutely happens story- or entertaining-wise. Yes, perhaps some good humor could had still made this movie somewhat more watchable as well but this totally isn't the angle this movie was going for.
The animations themselves also aren't that impressive to look at but I can still see how its style influenced other later film-makers and animators. However that still doesn't make this a good or interesting movie to watch. Not for me at least.
Heaven and Earth Magic is a surreal film fantasy using collage animation with late 19th century graphic images which are reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's animation work with Monty Python. Lacking any semblance of a plot, logic or narrative direction, Heaven and Earth Magic apparently follows the journey of a woman with a toothache to heaven and back, but not after the loss of a watermelon. The film's dreamlike action employs a series of related images and motifs related to death, including skeletal figures of humans and other animals. Visually interesting, for about fifteen minutes, I get the feeling that Heaven and Earth Magic might best be "understood" with the aid of some mind altering substance (Klaus Ming July 2013).
You know what, this little experiment actually doesn't even deserve a 6/10. I'm bringing the score down to a 5. This film may be highly influential and unique, but it's damn annoying and tedious after a while, despite its runtime being barely over an hour.