Dinca — contemporary art blog


  • Where can I see this film?

  • I’m pretty sure it’s on this VHS anthology from Facets.org:


    Or, if you live in NYC, it probably will play at the Lincoln or AFA eventually, though, that might be years away.

  • ” Smith’s last phase of filmmaking is more difficult to discuss for a number of reasons, which include: the fact that many of them are incomplete, unavailable or difficult to project (for instance, Mahagonny/No. 18 (ca.1970–80), was designed for projection on four screens). (23) There seem to be two main developments characterising Smith’s filmmaking during the latter part of his career: first, his aborted major project of reworking Wizard of Oz, of which only one sequence – “The Approach to Emerald City” – and a number of rushes survive. (These extracts have appeared in Oz/No. 13 (ca. 1962), Oz: The Tin Woodman’s Dream/No. 16 (ca. 1967), No. 19 (ca. 1980) and Fragments of a Faith Forgotten/No. 20 (ca. 1981)); second, extending the incorporation of more “concrete” material, the use of photographed film.

    Smith’s Wizard of Oz film (co-animated with Joanne Ziprin) would have chronologically followed his Heaven and Earth Magic. The project was begun in the early 1960s and received major financial backing from a consortium (which included Elizabeth Taylor!). This was to be a widescreen film, using a number of coloured glass plates in front of the lens at varying distances in order to create strange effects. Smith drew on a number of sources in order to produce a cabalistic environment within which the Oz story would unfold: these included the drawings of Hieronymous Bosch, Tibetan mandalas and sketchings of microscopic life by biologist Ernst Haeckel. Unfortunately, the major backer of the film, Arthur Young, died and the project was abandoned.”

    — “Alchemical Transformations: The Abstract Films of Harry Smith”, senses of cinema, http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/05/36/harry_smith.html

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