21 user 15 critic

The Heart of the World (2000)

Not Rated | | Short, Action, Fantasy | 7 October 2000 (USA)
A scientist chooses a wealthy man over her two lovers but must heal the earth's core to save humanity.


Guy Maddin


Guy Maddin
7 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Leslie Bais Leslie Bais ... Anna
Caelum Vatnsdal Caelum Vatnsdal ... Osip
Shaun Balbar ... Nikolai
Greg Klymkiw Greg Klymkiw ... Akmatov (as Hryhory Yulyanovitch Klymkyiev)


Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and studies the Earth's core, the very heart of the world. She discovers that the world is dying of heart failure and only has one more day remaining. Meanwhile, Akmatov, a bloated, capitalist bureaucrat lusts after Anna and tries to make her fall into her bed. Written by pr1mal_1

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Not Rated

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Did You Know?


References/parodies soviet montage cinema of the 1920s, German Expressionism of the 1920s, and silent melodrama film. See more »


Referenced in Brows Held High: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (2011) See more »


Time, Forward
Written by Georgi Sviridov (as Giorgi Sviridov)
With permission from the Sviridov Foundation and Meloydiya © 1968
See more »

User Reviews

Six Minutes That I will Never Forget
12 March 2012 | by Galina_movie_fanSee all my reviews

Few weeks ago I wrote about the last year's biggest and "quietest" black and white silent movie-surprise "The Artist" - "the most charming, original and unexpected" movie of 2011. It is true about the last year but for me, The most original, joyful, and truly unexpected film-homage to the silent era since few days ago has become the six minutes long stunner "the Heart of the World" (2000) from the Canadian auteur, Guy Maddin, which he wrote and made for 2000 Toronto Film Festival. "The Heart of the World" has been named by many critics the best Canadian short film. Watching it for the first time, it was the experience that I can only compare to watching few years ago for the first time Dali's -Buñuel's' "Un Chien Andalou"/"The Andalusian Dog" and Chris Marker's La Jetee/The Pier. All three short films left the long lasting impression and became my favorites.

Since the first time, I've already watched "the Heart of the World", perhaps dozens of times. Each time the beating of its "Kino"-heart made my heart pump the blood faster. I am not exaggerating. The energy and rhythm of the images changing rapidly and creatively to the innovative, magnificent score by the Soviet composer Georgiy Sviridov "Time Forward", have some hypnotizing power of physical and emotional impacts.

This film which took only five days to finish is a wonderful homage, dedication to, summation, and the parody of many kinds of early filmmaking. First, should be mentioned the French visionary, and the "alchemist of light" Georges Méliès whose legendary "A Trip to the Moon" (1902) made Gay Maddin forever fell in love with the old movies from the youth of the cinema. Maddin also found deeply symbolic that his and Méliès ' initials (GM) are the same, and it was one of the reasons for Maddin to have chosen his way in creating uniquely complex yet entertaining and deliciously weird films using the old techniques thus bringing together the past and presence of film medium.

Maddin's interest to the early Russian silent filmmaking, specifically, the propaganda films from the early twenties, the works of Sergei Eisenstein, Yakov Protazanov, and Dzega Vertov is also on the full display in "The Heart of the World". I recognized the shots reminding me of Battleship Potemkin, Ivan the Terrible, and Aelita. But there is more; for example, the German expressionism - Metropolis by Fritz Lang and without doubt Luis Bunuel whom Maddin names as his prime inspiration, especially the early surrealistic gem, Golden Age. The final of "The Heart... is pure Ingmar Bergman's Persona, with the shot of the cameraman behind the camera and then the sound of camera running while the film is over and the screen turns black.

Only six minutes long, the little film pays tribute to the very popular in the past science fiction genre with a brilliant if slightly mad scientist as the main character. It also tells the complete story of love, passion, lust, greed, making the wrong choices and willingness to self-sacrifice for the benefits of the humankind. Yes, it is all here, and it ends with the fascinating statement from its creator that "Kino" (cinema) is the new better heart of the world. This is the message from the true film lover-director to the film lovers everywhere in the world.

And you know what? I am going to watch it again right now.

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Release Date:

7 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

H καρδιά του κόσμου See more »

Filming Locations:

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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