“It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I remember having a cup of coffee and I went, ‘Well, look, there is a giant canvas in every little town everywhere around the world. And on this giant canvas there are 24 frames of image on that screen every second and it’s the most wonderful living art form.’” –Yahoo Serious, The New York Times, 1989
Okay, so, taking Young Einstein—ahem—seriously may, initially, seem like taking Plan 9 from Outer Space seriously. Roger Ebert gave this film one star, and seemed to begrudge it even this tiny reward. The movie is ridiculous: a fictive debut out of Australia from an art school reject; made on a shoestring budget; produced, starring, and directed by this same art school reject; and no script doctors or test audiences were employed in the making of this film as far as I can tell. It is, at best, a B-movie.
However, the auteur definitely took his subject matter seriously, and saw comedy and his film persona as a way of communicating something deep and powerful through what is a fundamentally goofy and campy lens. Yahoo Serious sold his car and gave up his profits to his investors to bring his vision to life. He constructed a whole mythos and worldview celebrating pacifism, a cheerful outlook on life, fantastic music, and an individualistic spirit in the face of adversity. The special effects are terrible. The pace of the film does not follow the traditional Hollywood beats.