Jaimz Asmundson’s The Magus is a high-energy cinematic experience that investigates and illuminates creativity as a spiritual or magical endeavor; one full of angelic beauty, but also overseen and fleshed out by demonic extremes.
Starting out simply enough, a man (C. Graham Asmundson) wakes up and begins going about his normal day-to-day routine. He works a bit on an art canvas, gets himself together and walks out of his home and into society for a short stroll. The mood is quiet and peaceful, until the man finds himslef at his destination and begins to descend deeper and deeper into the Earth via a dark, foreboding tunnel system. From society to the underworld, the man makes his way to a brightly illuminated room consisting of completely barren, though bright white, walls.
What happens next is a ceremony of stripping down to the basic nude form, seemingly offering up the clothes as a form of purity sacrifice for art, as the man sets about painting all four walls while completely nude. The act of creation is furious and explosive and beautiful… until the man whit washes the walls. Of course, sometimes you can’t keep good art down, and the true imagery and power of his paintings remains, and won’t go away easy.
Everything about The Magus succeeds. From the simple opening to the visual and audio feast of the acts of artistic birth, death and stubborn rebirth, the film just pulses with an infectious energy from which you can’t turn away. Just by watching the short, I felt energized and inspired, maybe not to paint in the nude, but to create something. Easily one of my favorite short films of this year.
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