Saturday, July 9, 2011


This 2000 silent short,  written,  directed,  photographed,  and edited by Guy Maddin is certainly one of my favorite films of any length,  given my full immersion into its antiquated melodrama,  hyperkinetic editing,  emotive score,  and overall look of decrepitude.  It comes as no surprise that this B&W gem comes from our northern neighbors,  Canada (Winnipeg,  to be more precise),  a country well represented by maverick directors.  Think the body morphing antics of David Cronenberg and the psycho/sexual dilemmas of Atom Egoyan,  but much more playful, surreal,  and totally untouched by Hollywood.  HEART OF THE WORLD is surely more than the sum of its influences,  as it takes the syntax of silent film and design elements from Russian Constructivism,  and weaves them into a highly charged love story/ecological disaster movie/morality tale.  The dialogue cards add to the personal and global hysteria with which this tale of sibling rivalry, a lovely state scientist,  and the Earth's core proceeds to a poor choice and later,  sacrifice.  Anna,  the object of the brothers' longing,  chooses a lecherous bloated industrialist as lover.  In it's final minute,  Anna rejects (and apparently kills) the industrialist,  and gives her heart to replace the Earth's ailing pump.  All is now weirdly well in Maddin's world. Check out this and Maddin's full length movies for a real sense of how film can present displacement as a viewer condition,  and narrative as a bizarre maze.

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