The Heart of the World
|The Heart of the World|
|Directed by||Guy Maddin|
|Produced by||Niv Fichman
|Music by||Georgy Sviridov|
|Editing by||Deco Dawson
|Running time||6 min.|
The Heart of the World is a short film written and directed by Guy Maddin, produced for the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival. Maddin was one of a number of directors (including Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg) commissioned to make four-minute short films that would screen prior to the various feature films at the 2000 festival. After hearing rumours that other directors were planning films with a small number of shots, Maddin decided that his film would instead contain over 100 shots per minute, and enough plot for a feature-length film. Maddin then wrote and shot The Heart of the World in the style of Russian constructivism, taking the commission at its literal face value, as a call to produce a propaganda film. Even in its expanded, 6-minute version, The Heart of the World runs at a breakneck speed, averaging roughly two shots per second, a pace intensified by the background music, Time, Forward! by Georgy Sviridov.
The plot of The Heart of the World concerns two brothers, Osip and Nikolai, who compete for the love of the same woman: Anna, a state scientist studying the Earth's core. Anna discovers that the heart of the world is in danger of a fatal heart attack (which would mean the end of the world), and the brothers compete amongst the public panic. Nikolai is a mortician and tries to impress Anna with assembly-line embalming, while Osip is an actor playing Christ in the Passion Play and tries to impress Anna through his suffering. Anna is instead seduced by an evil capitalist, but has a change of heart and strangles the plutocrat, then slides down into the heart of the world, where she manages to save the world from destruction by transforming into cinema itself, the world's "new and better heart — Kino!"
Awards and nominations
- Win: Best Short
- Win: Best Cinematography
- Win: Special Mention - Short Film
- Win: FIPRESCI Prize, Best Short Subject
- Win: Film & Video - Short Narrative, Golden Gate Award - Guy Maddin
- Vatnsdal, Caelum. Kino Delirium: The Films of Guy Maddin. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2000. Print. ISBN 1-894037-11-1
- "Guy Maddin: Imagining ‘entirely original worlds’". Canada Council for the Arts. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- The Guy Maddin Collection. Dir. Guy Maddin. Zeitgeist Video, 2002. DVD.
- The Heart of the World at Zeitgeist
- The Heart of the World at AllMovie
- The Heart of the World at the Internet Movie Database
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