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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Tribute to René: Playing with Reality and Illusion

The Tomb of the Wrestler, 1960

The Treachery of Images, 1928

Two Mysteries, 1966

The Happy Hand, 1953

Memory, 1948

Tribute to René: Playing with Reality and Illusion

Everything we see hides another thing,
We always want to see what is hidden be what we see.

Tribute to René is an animated short art film, a collaborative creation by Box of Toys Audio with flipEvil design studio. The composition is a tribute to the Belgian surrealist artist, René Magritte, which is a bespoke piano piece in and around the dream-like state of the visuals.

Magritte became well known for his paintings that challenged observers’ perceptions of reality and forced viewers to become more sensitive to their surroundings. His works constantly play with reality and illusion, displaying a juxtaposition of ordinary objects in an unusual context and giving new meanings to familiar things.

Tribute to René: Playing with Reality and Illusion

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Photo-Gallery: Tribute to René/Playing with Reality and Illusion

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George Condo: A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

The Stockbroker, 2002

The French Maid, 2005

Spiderwoman, 2002

Mary Magdalene

Jesus

George Condo: A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

George Condo is a prolific painter whose career spans almost three decades, creating characters who inhabit a grotesque, comic, baroque and sinister world. His work presents surrealist-style figure paintings, where humor abates tragedy and our inner demons are realized on a canvas. Condo’s work has been described as the visual embodiment of our mental states, and the first major American survey of his work has just opened at New York City’s New Museum, aptly entitled George Condo: Mental States.

Condo Painting: A Documentary on the Work of George Condo

Slide Show: George Condo/A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

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Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus is a stunning animated short film created by Suzan Pitt, a matted-cel work that film critics have hailed as a visionary masterpiece and one of the most lavish and wondrous animated short films ever made.  Asparagus is the now classic film that assured Pitt’s reputation as a major American animator.  After taking four years to make, Asparagus, completed in 1979, won awards around the world, including First Prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany and awards at Ann Arbor, Baltimore and Atlanta Film Festivals in the United States.

Pitt went on to produce a number of other animated projects, as well as to design the first two operas to include animated images for the stage (Damnation of Faust and The Magic Flute) in Germany.  In addition, she created large multimedia shows at the Venice Biennale and at Harvard University.  A former Associate Professor at Harvard University, Pitt has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship and three production grants from the National Endowment of the Arts.  She presently teaches in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Asparagus is designed like a Pandora’s box, opening up visions into the depths of a woman’s inner world, merging sensual and surrealistic imagery conceived in the form of a Freudian dream.  Its mythical visual narrative and dreamscape focuses on erotic metaphors and intellectual references that reflect a thoughtful manner of artistic creativity deeply imbued with the vital nexus between formal experimentation and the exploration of the obscure, dark forces that lurk behind human psyche and praxis.

Defying analytic efforts since the 1980s, Asparagus, arguably Pitt’s finest work, is a deeply symbolic reflection on issues of female sexuality, art and identity, and that’s probably as far as one can go.  The visual narrative is as lavish and vibrant as it is elusive and hermetic, and Pitt’s claim that Asparagus was not designed with an intention to be reflected upon but rather to be emotionally experienced seems reasonable in the face of immense interpretive difficulties raised by the struggle between its unstoppable flow of onirical but culturally familiar imagery, as well as our equally untamed desire for exegetical decomposition.

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Slide Show: Asparagus/An Erotically Surreal Dream in Pandora’s Box

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The Incredible Fantástico Morales: A Fantastical Nasal-Toot in Three Acts

The Incredible Fantástico Morales: A Fantastical Nasal-Toot in Three Acts

The Fantastic World of Fantástico Morales is a delightfully demented animated short film by the Peruvian animator, Jossie Malis (a.k.a. Zumbakamera).  The psycho-colored animation is a highly dramatic production in three-acts, which follows the incredible and supernatural escapades of the infectious Fantástico Morales, an amusingly unhinged fellow who has been blessed with a magical nasal tooter.  Just a tip: Do not sneeze!

The Incredible Fantástico Morales: A Fantastical Nasal-Toot in Three Acts

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Vincent Moon: Never Let Me Down Again

Vincent Moon: Never Let Me Down Again

Never Let Me Down Again (2005) is a beautiful short film by the French filmmaker Vincent Moon (Mathieu Saura), who was an original co-creator of La Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows Project.  Moon perfected an immediately recognizable style of intimate, fragile, dancing and shadowy long shots, which changed the whole idea of what a music video could be like.  In this work, Moon’s images are married to the captivating music of Sylvain Chauveau, who pays acoustic tribute here to Depeche Mode.  The result can be something strange and mysterious for the viewer, a new kind of musical experience.  Moon’s surrealistic creation leads one into a territory between dream and reality.  Again and again…. Again and again….

Vincent Moon: Never Let Me Down Again

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La Gaîté Lyrique: A Poetic Journey Through a 19th Century Parisian Theater

La Gaîté Lyrique: A Poetic Journey Through a 19th Century Parisian Theater

La Gaîté Lyrique is a stunning, dreamlike two-minute 3D animated short film by Passion Paris Director Yves Geleyn.  The film was created to celebrate La Gaîté Lyrique, the 19th century Paris theater abandoned since the 1980s, which will blossom as a center for digital arts and contemporary music this coming December.  The animation is a stunning work both in the 3D animation and also the interactive experience, combining elements of Baroque theater and stylised Japanese Kabuki dance.  The film’s opening moments lead to a shimmering cascade, immersing the viewer in magical experiences as flowing shapes of all descriptions are conjured from air and water in magnificent, abstract spectacle, conveying the promise of the new theater, the art, science and sound.

La Gaîté Lyrique: A Poetic Journey Through a 19th Century Parisian Theater

(Enjoy this Magnificent, Magical Spectacle in Full-Screen Mode)

In addition, Yves Geleyn expands this magnificent film, creating an interactive experience that allows the viewer to venture inside the cathedral and become immersed in its magical atmosphere, bathing in the shimmering visuals and wonderful soundscape.  Please click the image below to live the full experience:

An Interactive Passage Through the Soul of La Gaîté Lyrique

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