Heaven and Earth Magic (1962)

Heaven and Earth Magic
Directed by Harry Smith
First viewing/YouTube
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


If you have only 1001 slots on a list, why waste one on this thing?

This is “art” and there is no discernible story and no dialogue.  It looks like Smith cut images out of very old publications and animated them with a stop motion technique.  The film is fairly repetitive.  Themes are fluids dripping, eggs cracking and giving birth to new images, and mallets destroying the images.

Well, I gave myself permission to fall asleep and actually stayed awake for the whole thing so that’s something.  There is no way I would have watched at all if it had not been for the List.  Admittedly, it’s like nothing I have ever seen before.  There is a way to make a beautiful film out of paper cut-outs.  It is called The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926).

Trailer for “expanded” version with live accompaniment