Combustible Celluloid Review - The Heart of the World (2000), Guy Maddin, Guy Maddin, Leslie Bais, Caelum Vatnsdal, Shaun Balbar, Greg Klymkiw
Combustible Celluloid
With: Leslie Bais, Caelum Vatnsdal, Shaun Balbar, Greg Klymkiw
Written by: Guy Maddin
Directed by: Guy Maddin
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 6
Date: 09/07/2000

The Heart of the World (2000)

4 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Produced as one of a series of short films for the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival, Guy Maddin's exuberant, expressionistic The Heart of the World tells the story of two brothers, mortician Nikolai (Shaun Balbar) and actor Osip (Caelum Vatnsdal), who is playing the part of Jesus in a Passion Play. Both brothers love Anna (Leslie Bais), and she loves both in return. Meanwhile, the world is about to suffer a heart attack, and it's up to Anna to venture to the "Very Heart of the World" to save the day. Inspired by early Russian cinema, as well as being meshed with cinema itself, this seven-minute masterpiece plays like a genuine silent film, moving at breakneck pace with extreme beauty. (The music by Georgi Sviridov is very much a part of the pacing and effect.) It's almost completely overwhelming, so much so that it has come to be regarded as one of the great short films, sharing space with Un Chien Andalou, Meshes of the Afternoon, and Duck Amuck.

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