“…if these things seem obscure, I suppose it may be assumed that in some past life…
Cosmic Alchemy (2010) is a fascinating animated short, filled with maps, unique unnamed “cutout” characters, and rich symbolism. Granted, this short may be an acquired taste as the subject matter would fly over most heads. To some, Cosmic Alchemy may seem to be just random objects floating up and about across old maps of the globe and the signs of the zodiac (which are in Latin). However, director Lawrence Jordan is taking the viewer on a journey that travels beyond our planet–even our physical plane of existence–and showcasing a new way in which the cosmos “operates.”
The artistic style of the film relies heavily on old art, presumably from the 15th-16th centuries, and the “cutout” people are just that–cutouts from old art pieces and memorabilia from earlier times–although there is some use of “moving people” from the beginning of the 20th century of black and white films. Some of the visual effects in the movie are quite dizzying, and didn’t make viewing the film pleasant in some scenes, but the overall content was impressive.
…I must have been an alchemist…”
The music composer for the avant-garde film, John Davis, does an excellent job of entrancing the audience with meditative tones, reminiscent of Tangerine Dream‘s slower tracks or ambient space composers. It places the viewer in an altered state, allowing the mind to wander and soak up the information being presented to them–the subconscious mind is bound to understand the general messages. Cosmic Alchemy is mainly recommended for those who love abstract presentations, prior art, and connoisseurs of alternative spirituality. Those who wander into the latter are more than likely to perceive the little gems relating to the center of the galaxy. While the film is barely under a half hour, it is sure to confuse or intrigue.
It could leave you with a smile, but only if you understand the puzzle.
Images Courtesy and ©2010 of Lawrence Jordan. All rights are reserved.