I’m hardly an authority when it comes to film, and I’m even less of an authority when it comes to animated film, excepting any discussion that revolves around the social and political commentary present in that mid-90s example of comedic versatility, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. Certainly, this isn’t indicative of an inherent disinterest on my part — just that I can’t be bothered to immerse myself in a new art form when I’m already preoccupied by other, more intellectual forms of creative expression. Kitten videos! Can there ever be too many?
It takes a Pixar sponsorship, or an event like the one that occurred at the 48th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival, to really spur my interest in animated film. It was at the latter where Flying Lotus first performed his live score of Harry Smith’s acclaimed 66-minute animated collage Heaven and Earth Magic, which was completed in 1962. On February 28, he’ll be reprising that performance at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles.
For those who are geographically fortunate enough to be able to experience this event, expect a complete diversion from the hip-hop-tinged sound characterizing his formal albums; while the usual instruments (laptop, drum machine, turntables, synthesizer) are all incorporated, the sound (from what I’ve gathered watching amateur video on YouTube) more accurately reflects the abstract nature of its film counterpart. In any case, unless Mr. Lotus decides to commit this performance to record, this will, in all likelihood, be one of the only chances you have of hearing this side of his musical self. Go on Steven, tell us how you feel.