Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece is the acclaimed 1965 nine-minute experimental short film that was writ­ten, di­rect­ed and pro­duced ​by Jim Hen­son; the film also starred Henson. Beginning in the spring of 1964, nearly ten years after the introduction of the Muppets, Henson filmed the short film on weekends and late nights between his commercial projects and Muppet appearances. Premiered at New York City’s Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in May of 1965, Time Piece en­joyed an eigh­teen-​month run at one Man­hat­tan movie the­ater and in 1966 was nom­i­nat­ed for the Acade­my Award for Out­stand­ing Short Sub­ject.

Time Piece is the story of Everyman, frustrated by the typical tasks of a typical day. With a rhythmic soundtrack and visual clock motif, the film follows follows a nameless man through his mundane daily activities, a montage intercut with surreal fantasy and pop-culture references. The film touches upon themes such as man’s dis­lo­ca­tion in time, time sig­na­tures, time as a philo­soph­i­cal con­cept and slav­ery to time. The film’s only dialog is a repeating cry of “Help!”from Henson, who can’t help but sound like his Kermit the Frog counterpart.

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

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