Lawrence Jordan  

Like Brakhage, Lawrence/Larry Jordan lives in a cinematic island of his own and has been making unique and obsessive cinematic creations for many decades, most of them shorts. Most of his movies consist of surreal cut-out animations without a narrative that combine images, usually cut out of classical art, in many surprising and free-flowing ways, resulting in purely right-brained sequences of free-flowing dream-logic, some of them triggering switches and connections in the brain, most of them just nonsensical but very hypnotic in a visual sense. A quote from Larry about 'Sophia': "I must emphasize that I do not know the exact significance of any of the symbols in the film any more than I know the meaning of my dreams... I hope that they... set off poetic associations in the viewer.". I would not be surprised to hear that Terry Gilliam's art was inspired by Jordan, except that he added punchlines to this cut-out art-form. The other types of movies that Jordan creates are documentaries involving meditational travelogues, exotic locations, nature and art, and also a half-length, more conventional adaptation of 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' containing lightly animated illustrations and a narration by Orson Wells.

Of Some Interest

One of only two or three full-length movies from Jordan, a painstaking hand-made surreal non-narrative animation of cut-outs on the theme of Sophia, "a Greek and Gnostic embodiment of spiritual wisdom", ancient philosophy (philo-sophia), the Mosque of St. Sophia, and also an "alchemical autobiography". It is basically a much longer version of the usual animation tricks by Jordan, namely, a free-flowing juxtaposition of classical cut-out images and figures, often amusing and surprising, sometimes oneiric, and always surreal. Paintings and cut-outs come to life and interact in naturally flowing, abstract or very impossible ways, sometimes like a cartoonish Dali animation, often reminiscent of Gilliam except without his sense of humor, and rarely managing to evoke poetic connections between the various symbols of knowledge. But this type of entertaining nonsense and visual eye & brain candy can wear out its welcome rather quickly which is why it typically only works in the form of shorts, and this one is best seen in shorter installments.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents