Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/19/12 Harry Smith


#No. 10 & #No. 11: MIRROR ANIMATIONS 
&
#No. 12: HEAVEN AND EARTH MAGIC

PROGRAM:
# No. 10: Mirror Animations (1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 10 min. Study for No. 11. "An exposition[disambiguation needed] of Buddhism and the Kaballah in the form of a collage. The final scene shows Agaric mushrooms growing on the moon while the Hero and Heroine row by on a cerebrum."

# No. 11: Mirror Animations
(1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 8 min. Features Thelonious Monk's Misterioso. Cut-up and collage animation. Later expanded to No. 17.

# No. 12: Heaven and Earth Magic a.k.a. The Magic Feature a.k.a. Heaven and Earth Magic Feature (1943-58 or 1950-60 or 1950-61 or 1957-62 or 1959-61) (reedited several times between 1957–62) 16 mm, black & white, mono, initially 6 hours, later versions of 2 hours and 67 min. Extended version of No. 8. Collage animation culled from 19th century catalogs meant to be shown using custom-made projectors fit out with color filters (gels, wheels, etc.) and masking hand-painted glass slides to alter the projected image. Smith explains, "The first part depicts the heroine's toothache consequent to the loss of a very valuable watermelon, her dentistry and transportation to heaven. Next follows an elaborate exposition of the heavenly land, in terms of Israel and Montreal. The second part depicts the return to Earth from being eaten by Max M├╝ller on the day Edward VII dedicated the Great Sewer of London." Jonas Mekas gave the film—which is often regarded as Smith's major work—its title in 1964/65.S

HARRY SMITH (1923-1991)

Harry Smith was an artist whose activities and interests put him at the center of the mid twentieth-century American avant-garde. Although best known as a filmmaker and musicologist, he frequently described himself as a painter, and his varied projects called on his skills as an anthropologist, linguist, and translator. He had a lifelong interest in the occult and esoteric fields of knowledge, leading him to speak of his art in alchemical and cosmological terms.

Enter to MASSART through the South Building, Admissions on Huntington Ave
FILM SOCIETY shows are held in Screening Rm 1 in East Hall in the FILM Department