Film Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

Warning: I think this is one of the greatest film ever made.

At first glance this production is simply about a bunch of people playing with a bunch of tops, but with a little concentration you can almost hear the heavens proclaiming the glory of God. The apparatus itself works as a result of balanced centripetal and centrifugal forces. The strong outward forces are focused and contained by the pin or post that balances them. Parables anyone? After a dizzying display of mechanical, cultural, and emotional diversity you come back to the fact that each top operates, each player benefits, because of the exactly identical physical principle. All for one, one for all.

The Eames’ usual methods and virtues are here, in spades. What would it be like to have Elmer Bernstein as your personal film composer? Note the superb little musical elaboration when that silver top—you’ll know the one I mean—starts spinning. Note also the shot in which the camera pushes forward into focus, then arcs to an overhead shot. Exact execution, on a practically microscopic scale. The heart catches.