The Wizard Of Speed And Time (Mike Jittlov, 1988)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
JamesF
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:36 pm

The Wizard Of Speed And Time (Mike Jittlov, 1988)

#1 Post by JamesF » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:03 pm

Any other fans of this lost special effects treasure or its eccentric creator, Mike Jittlov?

Been going through a big Jittlov phase recently, watching his early shorts (in particular Swing Shift, Animato: Fashionation and the original Wizard Of Speed And Time) and rifling through his old Newsgroup (where he used to post regularly), and he's a fascinating character, as well as a bona fide effects genius. The feature itself is one of my favourite discoveries of the last few years, a meta/semi-autobiographical take on Jittlov's struggles to make his films in the face of the big bad Hollywood machine. (The evil conniving producer was played by the film's actual producer, who - if you believe Jittlov - turned out to be as duplicitous as his character in the film.) I can't think of many picture that so deftly combine a hard-earned cynicism at the studio machine's machinations and an earnest delight at all that cinema is capable of, outside of maybe Joe Dante's oeuvre. Here's the trailer ("Five years in the making! Five days in the theaters!").

A proper DVD/Blu-Ray release is long overdue - not least since the director professes the original release is only 65% finished - but Jittlov (who claims to own the rights) has been caring for his elderly mother full-time since 2000, and has been fairly off the radar since then. In the interim, fans have been swapping bootlegs transferred from the Image laserdisc, with JIttlov's blessing. One can only hope that a restored Director's Cut is in the cards one day to give Jittlov and his fans some closure.

User avatar
The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: The Wizard Of Speed And Time (Mike Jittlov, 1988)

#2 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:58 pm

I discovered him back in 2005 on a website that sold bootlegs of rare and hard to find movies (this predates the mass proliferation of cinephile torrenting sites). I was interested by what I discovered about him through fan sites and his very pre-web 2.0 website. I was sold instantly when I saw Swing Shift followed by The Wizard of Speed and Time, both which became a very big influence on me as a filmmaker of 18.

He's one of those abrasive independent filmmakers who can't play the game and needs everything to be their exact vision to the very last detail. Another unique independent filmmaker based out of Los Angeles working completely away from the system like Kenneth Anger, John Cassavetes, Thom Andersen and Charles Burnett and finding their own original, identifiable voice in a city and art that's so dominated by the idea of Hollywood success. He's obviously a character too. On his website he still has up and old Craigslist ad that reads off his qualifications like a resume.

And here's his Mickey Mouse short, Mouse Mania. Of course, starring him in two roles.
Last edited by The Elegant Dandy Fop on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JamesF
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:36 pm

Re: The Wizard Of Speed And Time (Mike Jittlov, 1988)

#3 Post by JamesF » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:37 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:And here's his Mickey Mouse short, Mouse Mania. Of course, starring him in two roles.
... which is also the final part of a triptych of shorts titled The Collector that aired as part of the same Mickey's 50th Anniversary special. Here's all three together.

Post Reply