Winner of the award for Best Story from the Los Angeles Animation Film Festival, The Magical Mystery of Musigny is a short film that tells the story of John, a man whose life has been irrevocably altered by sipping a glass of Musigny wine. However, because his experience is so powerful, he struggles to communicate its meaning to his wife, causing drama between the two spouses.
Directed by John Meyer (of whom the story is based on his own life experience) and animated by Emmett Goodman, Musigny is beautifully designed in a way that is reminiscent of the classic style of Al Hirschfeld. Very few films attempt to cover the complex art that is wine-tasting but, in a few short minutes, Musigny seems to capture its intricacies and expressions.
Though only three minutes in length, Musigny speaks to the beauty that can be found in the smallest aspects of life. For John, the experience of this particular wine is overwhelming in its complexity and magnificence. For him, the slightest taste from his glass becomes a transcendent experience, transporting him emotionally and spiritually to another place. As such, the simple pleasure of the moment becomes something much more profound.
Of course, John’s greatest struggle is attempting to explain the experience to his wife who believes that he simply drank too much. Similar to the challenges of attempting to explain one’s spiritual experience of faith, there is a divide that takes place between those that have reached out to the Divine and those that haven’t. How can one fully explain what it means to have their life changed when the other person remains unaffected? This is the very sort of divide that’s taking place between John and his wife… until she has the experience herself. Once she has partaken of the wine for herself, her eyes are opened and she understands what her husband has been trying to explain to her. At once, the mystery of Musigny is revealed and she is changed. There is a celebration that can finally be shared amongst them. In this moment, the film speaks to the nature of community based common experience. Even though John and his wife are affected differently by the wine, the very fact that they have both had an experience with it breaks down the barriers of communication. Despite their differences, their commonality takes priority, reviving their relationship and drawing them together. The beauty of the moment becomes overwhelming for both of them and they are united once again.
In the end, The Magical Mystery of Musigny is an entertaining piece that points to the power of small moments. Through the intricacies of wine, the film serves as a metaphor for the importance of shared experiences as the heart of community.
To hear full audio of our conversation with director John Meyer, click here.