Friday, 3 May 2013

Forgotten: The Wizard of Speed and Time

Yeah, you didn't forget this one. You never saw it. Shame on you.





The Wizard of Speed and Time (1988)
Staring: Mike Jittlov
Directed by: Mike Jittlov







Man, is this film good.

The Wizard of Speed and Time (WOSAT, for short) is the wonderful movie of a film maker, trying so desperately to get a break. Mike Jittlov, playing himself (who seems in turn to also be playing himself) is an effects guy trying to get work. He succeeds when a big time Hollywood company sees his effect reel and hires him to do a SFX slot. Which turns out to be The Wizard of Speed and Time (short) and also, as it turns out, the movie that you are watching. I think.

It pre-dates meta anything.

The Amazing Mike Jittlov

So the film is a comedy, laden with amazing stop motion SFX, SFX about making SFX, musical numbers, good-guys, bad-guys, movie references everywhere, and a solid, if almost unheard of cast.

Mike Jittlov did nothing of great recognition after the fact, but did almost everything on set, from being the star to the director and most things in between. Deven Chierighino is Mike's friend and associate in the movie and has had a long career in film and TV, although behind the camera. Most of the cast seemed to do little before or after. Which is a shame, because they are all very good. Philip Michael Thomas - the only immediately recognizable actor in the film - (Tubbs from the original Miami Vice) cameos.

The thing is, this film is warm, touching, it is suitable for most ages - all of whom will take something else away from it - it is funny, and leaves you wanting more.

But sadly you will probably never get it.

I am the Wizard of Speed and Time...

I've had a look around and cannot find any news of Jittlov himself since 2007, when according to the internet, he was looking after his elderly mother.  Mike, if you're out there, I'd love to say hi.

I have this film on, gulp, VHS, and it is available on laserdisc. I have heard that the torrents that are available of it were shared by Mike himself, and therefore legal to download. How true that is? I have no idea.

But if you do get the chance, watch it. Take the family. This is a beautiful film that needs to be shared.

See you in the lobby, film fans.