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downloaded from an unofficial zorn web page on may 28 1995 292w

Harry Smith's "Heaven and Earth Magic"

Zorn sez on Naked City's album "Heretic" (Avant 1): ``This record is dedicated to Harry Smith, Mystical Animator, Pioneer Ethnomusicologist, Hermetic Scholar, Creator of "Heaven + Earth Magic", one of the greatest films of all time.''

This movie can probably be obtained on video from Mystic Fire Video, Inc., PO Box 1202, Montauk, NY 11954, (800) 727-8433. I bought it at Kim's Video in NYC (on St. Marks around the corner from 2nd Ave).

There is an article on Harry Smith in "Chemical Imbalance" v2 n3 (their address is Box 1656 Cooper Station, NYC, NY 10276 USA). Here's an excerpt which might be of interest here:

``Many of Smith's animated films employ overt magical symbolism and allude to drugs, two favorite preoccupations. He described 'Film No. 10' as "an exposition of Buddhism and the Kabbalah 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." This film was a study for a more ambitious collaboration with Thelonius Monk, 'Film #11', _Mirror Animations_. This carried out the methodology of his jazz paintings in film, tightly synchronizing the animation to Monk's "Misterioso". His black-and-white _Heaven and Earth Magic_ ('Film No. 12') was created in the late 1950s and early '60s by using sortilege to animate cut-outs from old department store catalogs and books. Originally six hours, it survives only in a one-hour version, with "musique concrete" soundtrack by Smith that uses sound effects in an analogous manner to the cut-up images. In its graphic depiction of spiritual transport and transformation, this film is the true American _Book of the Dead_.''


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