Well, that’s it. Take a long lunch. Or go home early. Make some popcorn. Ingest some substances. And settle in for Diane Keaton’s directorial debut. Released in 1987, “Heaven” is a documentary that investigates different people’s assumptions, beliefs, and thoughts on the afterlife — and it does so in glorious, ridiculous fashion.
With a good old WTF intro from Look Video to kick things off right, “Heaven” gets off to a great start. The 80-minute documentary itself, though, offers even more promise. Take, for example, the first subject. Though he appears at the 49-second mark, postulating about the meaning of Heaven, it’s not for another 34-seconds, until 1:23, that he offers anything other than an “uh” or an “um.” Riveting. Of course, there’s little need to focus on him when he’s seated against the backdrop of space. Yes, as in outer-space. At one point, there’s a planet that looks a whole heck of a lot like a miniature Saturn. Unfortunately, the interviewee isn’t able to complete his train of thought before an errant asteroid sends him to Heaven. (Don’t worry, he comes back later.)
The investigative look at the afterlife splices footage from classic black-and-white films with color interviews with people whose opinions on the subject range widely. Couple the selection of movie scenes with the thoughts Keaton’s subjects convey, the weird, disorienting camera angles she employs, and the utterly absurd sets, and the result is…indescribable. I mean, is this a real film? Yes… supposedly. There is no evidence to the contrary. Keaton’s even credited as writing it.
The film, which was distributed by Island Pictures, opened in theaters on April 17, 1987. It closed not quite a month later on May 14th, having grossed $77,886. In the 27 days between, it painted many a picture of what Heaven is. Are there streets of gold? Or is the ground made of cotton balls? Do you spend your time eating marshmallows? Are there walls of jasper (this is apparently pretty contentious)?
Watch below to find out everything you didn’t know about Heaven and more. [via Dangerous Minds]